The Future of Auditing in the “New Normal” A conversation with Corporate Audit Expert Brandi Thomas
Using the proper inventory management systems will help auditors keep track of important data and reduce time spent on tracking down information. Auditors must be able to access the right information quickly, without interruption, so they can complete their work efficiently and effectively with as little hindrance as possible. Asset management systems will give auditors the data they need from any location, ensuring they never miss a critical piece of information. A technology solution can make life easier for internal auditors as well as external auditors, providing both groups with instant access to vital information at all times.
Imagine trying to audit a company if you have no idea what kind of inventory they're sitting on. If your auditing firm has no idea how many servers are in your data center, how can you tell if any are missing? The same applies to every other asset in an IT environment, from routers and switches to laptops and desktops. A common solution is an inventory management tool that tracks each type of device, its serial number, who owns it, who's using it right now...you get the picture.
“One of the biggest challenges early in my career is I was trying to do two things at once.” Stated Brandi Thomas, Vice President of Corporate Audit and the Chief Audit Executive at Delta Airlines.
“The first part was education because people really didn't know what internal audit was. People assume that we sit behind a computer with spreadsheets and make sure all the numbers tie, and there's a component of that, but there's another part of that that's really operational excellence and working on compliance. You have to really key in on what you are trying to solve because the worst thing you can do as an auditor is bring up a bunch of situations that are not relevant. Not everything you run across is a problem, not everything you run across is actually worth fixing, but certain things that are the lifeblood of business like inventory are critically important.”
For auditors to do their job effectively, they need to know what assets they should be looking at and how those assets should be managed. Technology-driven inventory management can facilitate that process. At a minimum, auditors should understand basic technology concepts that impact their audit targets.
“From an audit perspective, in a world of COVID, you want to limit contact as much as possible and so technologies like Countifi can allow you to do those things.” Stated Brandi.
“A lot of times you aren’t going to be able to reach out and touch and feel, but if you have an imaging technology that can help you understand what you're looking at in a location, on a shelf that can help you understand whether you've built a beverage cart to compliance, whether that's stocked the right way, especially as we're making changes as it relates to COVID. Inventory is vital both from an internal health of the business perspective, but also from a service perspective in giving our customers the very best experience they can have onboard.”
Knowing which solution is best for your firm comes down to a detailed consideration of business objectives and existing IT platforms. Countifi system uses artificial intelligence and computer vision that can easily integrate with most IT platforms. Find out how Countifi can enhance your current inventory and asset management.