Report examines remote work dynamic and shares best practices for sustaining a positive virtual work environment
LAKE MARY, Fla. (December 27, 2021) – The Institute of Internal Auditors’ (IIA’s) Internal Audit Foundation (IAF), in collaboration with AuditBoard, has released a new research report, “The Remote Auditor: Challenges, Opportunities, and New Ways of Working,” which assesses the impact of remote work in the profession, explores the importance of technology in addressing remote work challenges, and shares best practices for remote working and sustaining a positive virtual work environment.
As we approach the third year of the pandemic, the question “when do we return to normal?” has largely been replaced with “how do we capitalize on the lessons learned over the past two years to further empower and support the hybrid workforce moving forward?” The report presents poll and survey results that help assess the impact of remote work on the profession as a means to answer this critical question.
The report cites findings from The IIA’s 2021 North American Pulse of Internal Audit survey, where 58% of chief audit executives (CAEs) indicated their teams were doing all or most of their work remotely and a further 22% said their teams were utilizing a hybrid approach of roughly equal remote and in-person work. This shift to remote and hybrid audit functions has spurred investments in technology.
New survey data collected for the report reveals that since the start of the pandemic, more than half of the respondents’ organizations have acquired cloud-based technology to help with remote collaboration and risk management.
“As fully remote and hybrid work models continue to become more common, an increasing number of audit teams are discovering that modern audit technology can help them better collaborate on their work, more rapidly surface risks, and drastically improve alignment and communication with business stakeholders," explained John Reese, chief marketing officer at AuditBoard. "In today's broad and dynamic risk environment it’s imperative for internal audit departments to move in this direction."
One notable challenge of remote working is the ability to build and maintain relationships with colleagues and audit stakeholders. Leaders must make a conscious effort to schedule formal and informal meetings to ensure connectivity and strong relationships across all levels of the organization.
“Audit functions that had done a couple of things before the pandemic started — including establishing very strong relationships, making good investments in technology, and applying the technology as part of their working methodologies — really had a big advantage when the pandemic hit,” says Harold Silverman, The IIA’s director of executive membership. “What we have seen is that a lot of less mature internal audit functions that learned the lessons from their peers are starting to make some of the same investments, especially with the expectation that remote work will continue.”
Cultivating an adaptive and intentional mindset will enable auditors to take advantage of lessons learned from the shift to remote work. One company noted in the report did just that, reevaluating their processes and refocusing on the highest risks, and the result was a decrease in travel time from 50% to 25% for their auditors, which saved the company time and money.
Going forward, communication skills and analytical and critical thinking are likely to be vital in order to successfully transition from in-person to hybrid or remote auditing.
The complimentary report is available to read here: “The Remote Auditor: Challenges, Opportunities, and New Ways of Working.”
About the Internal Audit Foundation
The Internal Audit Foundation, supported by the generosity of its donors, advances the practice of the profession by executing global research to explore issues impacting the profession and funding academic initiatives that support the pursuit and promotion of internal audit education within institutions of higher education. For more information, visit www.theiia.org/Foundation.
About The Institute of Internal Auditors
The Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) is the internal audit profession’s most widely recognized advocate, educator, and provider of standards, guidance, and certifications. Established in 1941, The IIA today serves more than 210,000 members from more than 125 countries and territories. For more information, visit www.globaliia.org.
AuditBoard transforms how audit, risk, and compliance professionals manage today’s dynamic risk landscape with a modern, connected platform that engages the front lines, surfaces the risks that matter, and drives better strategic decision-making. More than 30% of the Fortune 500 leverage AuditBoard to move their businesses forward with greater clarity and agility. AuditBoard is top-rated by customers on G2 and Gartner Peer Insights, and was recently ranked for the third year in a row as one of the fastest-growing technology companies in North America by Deloitte. To learn more, visit AuditBoard.com.