Digitalising internal audit

The hypothetical case of the contemporary v the establishment: an alternative approach to the topic of digitalising the internal audit function.

There are many updates you can read on what digitalisation means, strategies, examples of digital technologies etc., and links have been included at the end of this piece for your convenience. One of the common threads from such papers is the assumption that chief audit executives (CAEs) are planning to ‘go digital’. Why wouldn’t they? 

Has digitalisation arrived on your radar? Is it something you keep meaning to read about but just haven’t made time for? How do you justify your position to colleagues? Has the subject even arisen with the chair of the audit committee? There are more important issues after all. Or are there?

What follows are the salient points made during a (fictitious) court hearing which provides insight into two quite different perspectives that will be of interest to CAEs.

The case of the contemporary argues for digitalisation. The person who invariably tells you about the book they’d read on the latest thinking about topic ‘x’ or the awesome gadget/upgrade that no-one should possibly live without. Maybe this is you? Maybe you know them?

And then there is the establishment. The person that buys a classic outfit that looks good regardless of fashions, uses technology that best fits their need even if that’s a Nokia 3310 and has been heard using the phrase ‘back in the day’. Do you identify with this?

Nature of the case

After some months of internal debate between two parties, the business concerned decided to seek formal adjudication to bring the matter to a close, thereby bringing the case of the contemporary accusing the establishment of being a technophobe to the mediation court. There was no jury.

Case for the contemporary…

"When the winds of change blow, some people build walls and others build windmills"

- Chinese Proverb

Further reading

The role of internal audit in digitalisation

Impact of digitisation on the internal audit activity

Research report: Data Analytics

The innovative internal auditor