New Technology for Internal Auditors from SAP
My good friends at SAP have shared the good news with me. They’re releasing a new technology solution for internal auditors at the IIA International Conference in London. I only wish I could be there to join the celebration.
As the head of internal audit departments at major global corporations for twenty years, I always looked for ways to upgrade our effectiveness and efficiency. For example, I used analytics software for data mining (especially when it came to fraud detection) and risk monitoring. However, the technology solutions developed specifically for internal auditors were often not supported by my company’s IT department and were difficult to use against core enterprise financial and other systems. I got around this by hiring proficient programmers (in one company, all they did was develop and run reports for our audit engagements).
I also spent a number of years as an executive in IT and experienced first-hand the problems created when an organization’s technology environment is fragmented, with applications from multiple vendors using different platforms, languages, database systems, and so on. It not only made supporting customer needs tough, especially when they wanted rapid change, but expensive.
What I like most about the new SAP solution is that if the organization already uses SAP systems it won’t have to introduce new technology just to support internal audit. Because SAP audit management is built on the SAP HANA platform, it will be easier to integrate the audit planning with the enterprise’s risk management information and with analytics for data mining, fraud detection, and risk monitoring. Internal auditors will be able to use the same analytics as business managers use to obtain information and run the business.
Furthermore, the new SAP audit management system will allow auditors with a simple internet connection to perform and document the audit wherever they are. I‘m a huge fun of running the business from the palm of your hand using mobile applications that work easily and in real time with the enterprise systems, whether in the cloud or in company data centers.
I am all for technology that helps extend the value of the investment organizations make in internal auditing. I believe the new technology solutions from SAP are worth a careful look. They’re built on some of the very latest, innovative ideas in technology, such as SAP HANA, and will enable internal auditors to perform their work at speed, upgrading their effectiveness and efficiency.
The days of running internal audit from spreadsheets and using audit data mining techniques developed in the last century should be left behind.
By way of full disclosure, I used to work for SAP and have a continuing relationship with them. However, my thoughts are my own and are not influenced by SAP’s management.