Mind set change leading to new culture:
This pandemic has reluctantly made businesses accept a work-from-home culture and change its mind set towards physical presence of employees in office for certain back-end functions such as accounting, HR, procurement, etc. and also core operations to some extent in case of service sectors.
Thanks to the modern ERP Software and cloud infrastructure coupled with VPN technology, business owners have realized that employees can be given secured access to the servers for recording data and accounting of transactions right from their dining table at home. The additional cost towards the IT Infrastructure is easily outweighed by the savings on office rentals, office management expenses and travel cost of employees. Although some may disagree, the elimination of fatigue from travel leads to improved employee efficiency.
Time to take internal audits online:
With all the relevant information available online, Audit teams are equipped to conduct internal audits online without investing time in travel.
However, apart from reviewing transactions in the ERP System, an Internal Audit also requires understanding of business processes. With some limitations, a business processes walkthrough can be conducted in any part of the world through a video meeting and whiteboard sharing with process owners, studying documented Standard Operating Procedures & Company Policies.
As companies go online, internal audits can too. By offshoring internal audits, companies get value additions by way of:
- Exposure of business to global practices and standards
- Savings travel and lodging expenditure of the audit team.
- Savings on audits fee due to difference in personnel cost in foreign locations.
(The author is a subject matter expert on internal audit with more than 16 years of experience. She is leading a Chartered Accountant firm and has served various large, medium and small sized companies.)