Data analytics holds tremendous potential for internal audit teams. But to gain maximum value from a data analytics program, organizations must continue to move toward controls automation and reduce their reliance on manual testing or ad-hoc analytics.
Focal Point has helped many organizations move toward continuous auditing and continuous monitoring, advanced stages of data analytics that result in tremendous cost savings through reduced labor and the easy identification of fraud, waste and abuse. Continuous auditing and monitoring provide ongoing evaluations of important controls, particularly those that involve large quantities of electronic data.
If your audit function is ready to move beyond one-off analytics projects, Focal Point can provide the thought leadership, technical expertise and business experience to lead you on the path toward continuous controls monitoring.
A process normally owned by Internal Audit and involves the use of data analytics to automate auditing tasks / activities. The greatest value of a continuous auditing (CA) initiative is the time savings achieved from reducing recurring and/or redundant tasks. CA also gives Internal Audit the ability to audit 100% of data populations as opposed to testing just a subset through sampling.
Similar to continuous auditing, continuous monitoring (CM) / continuous controls monitoring (CCM) automates routine control based testing using 100% of data populations. However, the discerning factor is that this initiative is, in most cases, driven by the Internal Audit department but the ownership is passed to the business. The benefits of a CM / CCM program are the early identification of errors and potential fraud, making it also a very good deterrent system.