Auditing the Future

There is little doubt over the fact that technology’s success is bigger than anything we have ever seen before in our lifetimes. The scale on which it turned up and delivered hasn’t seen a ton of success stories, which makes the achievements of technology much more meaningful in every sense. However, amidst this tales of glories, we often forget the missteps of the popular tech revolution. We like to think that technology never really experienced any other thing than resounding triumphs, but that can’t be considered as factual. There have been areas where technology failed, and then there were also instances when the technology took a lot longer to prime itself than what was initially predicted. One of the candidates for the latter category is compliance industry. When we say compliance, it usually inspires thoughts like bogged down proceedings, unrealistic restrictions, and huge amounts of unnecessary work. So, in our attempt to change this scenario, we added compliance to the growing tech fold, feeling confident that we have set ourselves up for more seamless operations. However, it didn’t pan out that way, at least for a long time. Even though technology for better compliance has been around for a while now, for some reason, the industry had struggled to embrace it. Basically, despite having the resources, the industry was not able to get itself out of the old and outdated ways, but then came a global pandemic. It’s not to say that technology wasn’t used at all in compliance before Covid 19 arrived, nevertheless, the situation did end up changing the fortunes of this partnership that looked set to go stale.

The claim of change can be backed up by how the process of auditing has transformed during the course of lockdown. According to Gartner, a leading research and advisory company, hybrid auditing might just lead the way for regulatory sector towards better times. Even though it was just a temporary fix to deal with social distancing restrictions, the company pointed out that the concept of hybrid auditing is likely to stay as the organizations now have a clear experience of how beneficial it can be. However, there are some modifications required to make it sustainable. For example, audit leaders must overcome the timeliness issue around remote auditing by being proactive and communicative. Furthermore, the auditing process must be done as a combination of remote activity along with in-person engagement, which is still looked at as an essential for high-risk areas.

Another requirement that Gartner mentioned was regarding standardization of technologies adopted during the pandemic. We saw companies turning to video technologies, drones, smart glasses, and mobile phones, all of which are diverse in nature, so need for a certain benchmark seems perfectly justified.

Gartner wrapped up its report by signaling the importance of making counter moves against reduced learning opportunities. A suggestion in the report hinted towards the introduction of hybrid audit training programs. This can enhance interaction, and if done properly, the improved engagement can lead to all important staff retention.

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