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Accenture internal audit: Innovation in continuous assessment

Consolidating risk intelligence provides us greater visibility on leadership risk assessment.


Accenture runs a large and complex business serving thousands of clients in over 120 countries worldwide. Accenture Internal Audit is charged with the task of assessing and weighing the many different threats facing its business. As part of this endeavor, Accenture Internal Audit conducts hundreds of interviews with Accenture leaders to gain insight on changing risks, and to keep pace with continuously shifting marketplace conditions. What Accenture Internal Audit needed was the ability to systematically schedule and gather results from hundreds of assessment conversations, and use these findings to adjust, update and advance risk assessments, in a manner approaching real time.


Confronted with a need to systematically schedule and keep track of hundreds of assessment interviews and the results of those conversations, Accenture developed an innovative approach by adapting a widely used marketplace technology in a counter-intuitive but highly useful way. By repurposing a market-leading Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solution, Accenture was able to digitize an important part of its internal audit business process.

By regarding interviewees as “customers,” and entering the information of those participating in the risk discussions into the contact management capability, internal auditors were immediately able to leverage the technological capabilities of the CRM solution to manage the target list of interviewees, schedule interviews, track and report on interview status, and record and compile assessment findings, all in a highly efficient manner.

By utilizing a CRM platform in this unusual way, Accenture now has one digital tool that everyone on the Internal Audit team can utilize to:

  • Manage the contact information

  • Schedule risk discussions with a large population

  • Generate reports on a quarterly basis summarizing the conversations

  • Accurately track and manage findings from these discussions

  • Expose the results of the risk discussions to the globally distributed Internal Audit leadership team on a real time basis

Exploiting these benefits enables Accenture to gather in an orderly fashion an ongoing leadership perspective on the risk landscape as the year progresses and as changes occur. In addition to the speed and ease with which contacts, meetings and conversations can now be tracked, using a well-established CRM platform, resulting in significant savings for the company, as well as improvements in performance.


Utilization of CRM technology has increased the efficiency and effectiveness of Accenture’s Internal Audit’s risk assessment process. By consolidating the process of scheduling, tracking and harvesting risk intelligence on a leading-edge technology platform, Accenture has visibility at any time on where it stands in the leadership risk assessment process. This in turn drives accuracy and collaboration as risk assessment notes can be shared across the global Internal Audit department at any moment in time. As conversations with Accenture leadership continue on an ongoing basis, the results and insights flowing from those conversations are entered immediately into Internal Audit’s updated risk assessment providing up-to-date viewpoints on current trends and potential threats, and enabling near real time adjustment of the audit plan. This has allowed Internal Audit to respond to changing market conditions, regulatory requirements, new Accenture services, and client engagements more quickly and effectively with an appropriate risk-based audit plan.