Agile is defined as the ability to create and respond to change – in both a mindset and an approach1. Agile methodology was originally created for and applied to software development functions; now Agile values have evolved and are applied to many functional areas, including internal audit (IA). In this article, we will review Agile values and ways you can leverage technology to incorporate these values into your IA methodology.
What Is Agile Internal Audit?
Agile IA is an approach that leverages the Agile methodology values to transform the phases of the audit process: planning, fieldwork, reporting, and follow-up. While approaches may vary slightly, all organizations will include common Agile concepts such as work backlogs, cross-functional collaborative teams, and shorter audit life cycles.
Here’s a reminder of the four core values of the Agile methodology.
- Value One – Individuals and Interactions over Processes and Tools
- Cross-functional teams allow for a more flexible and responsive approach to change than processes and tools.
- Value Two – Working Products over Comprehensive Documentation
- Working products over comprehensive documentation allows for the reallocation of valuable time and effort away from extensive documentation and toward product delivery2.
- Value Three – Customer Collaboration over Contract Negotiation
- Regular collaboration promotes engagement and allows the auditees visibility into the audit progress and content of deliverables, limiting the impact of disagreements or surprises over contentious items such as audit findings.
- Value Four – Responding to Change over Following a Plan
- Responding to change over following a plan places importance on a team’s ability and need to quickly adapt and adjust to change rather than holding to preconceived steps.
To dig a little deeper into the four Agile methodology values and how they can be applied to IA, check out our detailed white paper here.
Leveraging Technology to Enable Agile Internal Audit
In today’s business world, technology and data platforms are playing an increasingly key role in driving innovation and modernization in organizations. Platforms, such as Workiva’s Integrated Risk Solution suite, allow IA to accelerate the Agile approach by enabling them to execute their work within the solution. This integration can include interactive collaboration among audit teams and auditees; near real-time report visibility and issues management; as well as adaptive planning to address what is most important for your organization. Platforms such as Workiva can allow for better business communications and efficiencies, aiming for a better user experience and business process.
There are many steps involved in implementing a new technology platform, and it’s important to have advisors you can trust throughout the process. FORVIS and our dedicated team of professionals can help not only design an Agile approach but also build it within a technology solution allowing IA to focus on delivering results and value to the organization.
To learn more about how FORVIS can help, fill out the Contact Us form below.