The Internal Audit team viewed the changing environment as an opportunity to reengineer the function by developing new processes and taking advantage of technology, including those advances Accenture was implementing in transitioning to a digital and intelligent enterprise. The team wanted to change to become more agile in focusing on the most relevant areas of risk for Accenture. The goal was to move to a real-time risk assessment process where the team could adjust its plan and approach as changes occur in the risk environment.
The conditions were right for leading with innovation and transformation. Internal Audit has progressively evolved the function in numerous ways:
Internal Audit developed a series of dashboards with digitized risk models that are updated in near real time, allowing the team to identify potential areas of risk within Accenture. The combination of timely data access and drill-down capability enables Internal Audit to improve the quality of its audit selection, scoping and testing. It also allows Internal Audit to be more agile with its audit plan during the year and change it as needed to focus on conducting the audits that are most relevant to Accenture’s current risk environment as seen through data.
The dashboards are connected to an Accenture Enterprise Insights Platform that draws from a common data lake that is used by other areas of Accenture’s business. Internal Audit uses additional tools to prepare, transform and analyze data in ways it could not before, enabling insight-driven internal auditing. The tools allow analytic consideration to occur in the early planning phases of an audit, driving more strategic scoping of the audit. Also on the horizon is the development and integration of predictive analytics as part of the audit process.