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What is audit software?
Audit software helps auditors analyze data, assess risks, track issues, and report results. It centralizes various aspects of the audit process and automates common tasks in the audit lifecycle, including:
- Planning and scheduling an audit
- Conducting an audit and documenting findings
- Managing and resolving findings
- Implementing corrective and preventive action plans
- Identifying trends and reporting results
The benefits of audit software:
- Improved performance: Audit software helps auditors delve into the finer details of the business/organization they’re auditing, facilitating the identification and rectification of inefficient procedures. The software improves data quality, reduces audit completion time, and enhances the overall audit process.
- Detailed information capturing: Manual note-taking, recordkeeping, and organization during the auditing process is a daunting task that can lead to costly errors. Audit software improves this process through detailed data capturing, including images, voice notes, video clips, and digital notes. From there, customizable reports can provide a comprehensive visual overview of operations and facilitate better decision-making.
- Automated workflows: With an automated audit cycle, calculations can be completed without hassle and reduced scope for human error, increasing auditors’ execution and monitoring capacities.
Typical features of audit software:
- Audit planning: Create targeted plans, schedule resources, and determine long-term goals for audits.
- Compliance management: Track and manage non-adherence to policies in a service, product, process, or supplier behavior.
- Dashboard: Monitor all audit-related statistics, metrics, timeline, budget, and performance in a central location
- Form management: Create, organize, store, and distribute custom forms and checklists.
- Risk assessment: Collect and analyze key information pertaining to enterprise risk.
- Task management: Assign tasks and track their progress.
Considerations when purchasing audit software
- Customization for various audit types: Depending on client needs, auditors may need their audit software to handle multiple types of audits (e.g., process audits, safety audits, internal audits, manufacturing audits, etc.). As every type has its own set of compliance needs and parameters within which the audit process must be carried out, be sure to consider the customization functionality of any audit software you evaluate.
Relevant audit software trends
- Data analytics will be a game-changer : Data analytics can be used for tasks such as risk profiling, data testing via simulation, and statistical sampling. Citing a Gartner finding, AuditBoard predicts that by 2020 at least 60% of audit software will include data analysis functionality that will enhance the quality of reporting and overall decision-making.
- Smartphones are changing the landscape of auditing: Smartphones help auditors capture real-time data in the form of pictures, voice notes, GPS coordinates, and more. Software vendors are increasingly developing mobile applications for their audit software offerings to leverage these capabilities and make audits more efficient.