For many, internal audit effort is mostly consumed between fieldwork and reporting. With internal audit functions adapting to a post-COVID-19 operating environment, the mandate to improve internal audit reporting is even stronger. Application of pragmatic and agile approaches will provide timely and succinct reporting for internal audit customers.
If we spent more time planning, and less time reporting, we would have more time to add value through activities otherwise missed. Getting to the point – Improving audit reporting for maximum impact focuses on how to gain efficiencies in reporting to both reduce time spent on reporting while increasing its impact.
The journey to improve reporting will involve a team effort by internal audit, the audit committee and organisational management. It is critical to have customer buy-in on the value of change as well as to have their needs in mind when changes are considered.
Getting to the point provides a multiphase roadmap to improve IA reporting with your end customer in mind that can be implemented no matter where you are in your journey.
It is likely your organisation and/or industry is experiencing enormous transformation in the wake of COVID-19. By adapting the ideas discussed in our report, your IA reporting should begin to shift from a point of pain to a point of impact that supports transformation and organisational value.
During this time of transformation in internal audit, and organisations more broadly, internal audit (IA) reporting should begin to shift from a point of pain to a point of impact.
A KPMG 2019 survey on the current state of internal audit reporting found that less than 40 percent of participants felt their audit reports provided high value to readers. The good news is that reporting can be evolved to meet customer requirements. Through this evolution, IA can recover time to refocus on other value-add aspects of the audit while providing reporting that is simple and gets straight to the point.
The evolution of internal audit reporting should consider improvements to content, design and integration of technology as well as improving the timeliness of reporting.
- Content within reports should focus on high priority findings, placing them up front. Nonessential audit information can be removed and shared separately, or placed in appendices.
- Design of reports, integrating graphics and data analytics will help to shorten the overall length of reports.
- Technology should be harnessed across the reporting lifecyle, allowing customers to interrogate data analytics and read reports on the go.
- Timing of reports should move towards real-time, raising observations as they arise.
If you have any questions please reach out to your KPMG team.
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