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Leverage internal audits to compete


November 19, 2009
by PricewaterhouseCoopers

Internal audit functions in organizations are looking beyond focusing on regulatory compliance and turning their attention to managing operations and risks more efficiently. According to a recent PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) podcast in the Strategy Talks series, “Internal Audits – A New Strategic Position”, by refocusing on strategic processes, internal audits provide critical value in a time of crisis.

To help internal audit meet stakeholder expectations and add strategic value, some of the tips identified in the podcast include:
•    Have a solid understanding of the key objectives, risks and priorities driving the business, from financial controls to IT. From there, align the internal audit plan with these elements, and bring on the right people to execute against the plan.
•    Use the right tools to audit greater volumes of data. Technology, such as Audit Common Language (ACL) or other Computer Assisted Audit Techniques (CAATs), can enhance the depth of audit analysis and efficiency of the audit process overall. By analyzing a larger data set rather than a small sample of transactions and processes, internal audit can create a more compelling argument for their recommendations.  
•    Consider third-party contracts. To stay on budget, many companies are looking to third-party vendors to neutralize costs on existing and future spend. Look to procurement, and identify areas of improvement by using best practices from other industries and companies. 

Click here to access this and other Strategy Talks podcasts,