Internal Audit in Covid-19 times
The world was taken aback unprepared, unanticipated by a pandemic namely COVID-19!!
Every person, business, company, government, economy is affected by the pandemic and Internal Audit is no exception.
How you do audit when everything looks uncertain, when revenues are falling, when job losses are rampant, when sustainability of company is challenged?
These are not normal times and so cannot be our approach. This is the time to be active partners in the real sense.
It is the time to switch hats and think from the organization viewpoint and be available in the best manner to serve the organization.
It may mean that for a while, we may focus on lending our capacity wherever required. It may mean that Annual Audit plans need to be modified. It may mean that the way of auditing needs to cope up with the work from home era, etc.
These are few tips to help you equip with these challenging and unprecedented times:
1. Be Empathetic
Understand, everyone is stressed, everyone is unprepared. Even when Audit is continuing, be empathetic in your communication, in understanding the situation, in relating to the client. Be empathetic to the needs of client and the organization. It’s a human world and it’s a tough time, do not forget that while auditing.
2. Agility is the Key
With work from home and no travel, auditing process sure can be hampered, but prepare yourself to be agile and learn to adapt in the new normal. Find ways to ensure effective auditing in this era, learn to engage more with the client through technology, find digital evidences and audit trails and when something requires travel or field visits necessarily, bring to management’s notice and with clear approvals and intimation, skip testing it. Find ways to get things done accepting the circumstances, do not be rigid! If there is a perfect time to be agile, it is NOW!
3. Be Alert
Be on your guard and be aware of the current trends, understand what could impact the business now and in future and give heads up to the management. Anticipate risks and make your client aware, help setting up controls and be part of the process more through advisories than audit.
4. Be a Partner
Partner with the organization to find solutions to the current problems, to find ways to deal with the uncertainty, use your knowledge and expertise to advise management in dealing with the current scenario. Audit Plan is not the goal, the existence, survival and sustainability of the client is the current goal and give your best partnering with them, Today!
When we play these roles, one day when we start seeing better times the organization would sure remember and value our contribution!
Always remember, we are not fault finders, we are value adders!!
PS : In all of this, do not forget to take care of yourself and your loved ones! The times could be tough but no matter what, this too shall pass!
Keep coming back and check out our FREE Introduction to Internal Auditing Course to help you grow and become an Amazing Internal Auditor!
Author – Limisha Kanani