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Emerging Technology, Process Automation: Internal Audit Roundtable

Jul 20, 2018

We are living in the age of disruption. Emerging technologies such as robotics process automation (“RPA”), artificial intelligence and big data analytics have been driving change and altering the way we work and learn. No company is immune from this disruption and companies are taking action to ensure that they are informed and beginning to plan for their digital journey.

At a recent roundtable discussion hosted by EisnerAmper and WaWa at EisnerAmper’s Philadelphia office, audit and financial executives from dozens of companies joined Jerry Ravi, Partner and Practice Leader specializing in Process, Risk, and Technology Solutions (“PRTS”) at EisnerAmper to discuss these new technologies and best practices regarding planning, governance and deployment strategies.
Here are some highlights/insights shared during the interactive roundtable discussion:

  • It is imperative that as companies embrace new technologies, internal audit should have a seat at the table and engage early in the project. Playing an advisory role can help ensure success of the project by putting governance and controls in place.
  • Internal audit teams need to change the manner in which they audit technology. Consider leveraging software development life cycle (“SDLC”) and agile style procedures in which auditors evaluate technology and controls as development hits certain milestones and quality gates.
  • RPA and data analytics are enablers that allow companies to implement continuous controls monitoring by automating controls and testing 100% of populations. 
  • Consider setting up a Center of Excellence (or center of business outcomes) that is representative of professionals from the business, internal audit, risk and technology. As new ‘bots’ (robotic processes) are designed, folks from each of these areas should review to ensure that what is being built will meet the use case.  
  • Create a plan that ensures that teams are engaged in the development process. What is learned from the initial proof of concept can be extrapolated and applied to future development.
  • As you look to deploy RPA, focus on the processes and people and what the future state should look like. The use cases should drive the technology – not the other way around.

EisnerAmper would like to thank Ian Senior of WaWa for his sponsorship and thought leadership in bringing this event to fruition.

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