Agile and Auditing 101

Nathan Pickard, CIA, CISA

Agile is an iterative approach to project management that helps teams accomplish work in small increments and as a result deliver value to customers faster. While Agile was born in software development, the methodology has been adopted by teams in all kinds of professions—even internal auditing. Read on to learn more about Agile, its application in auditing, and how ThirdLine software (developed with Agile!) jet-fuels any part of the audit process.

Agile Methodology

At the heart of Agile Methodology is communication and flexibility with clients and among teams. In fact, this concept was created in direct response to more traditional “waterfall” management styles that slowed down processes and hampered quick and effective communication. There’s even an Agile Manifesto that has been widely used as a basis for developing Agile structures.

In action, Agile encourages regular communication between developers and their clients. The idea is that teams work in short “Sprints” instead of marathons when developing a software product, offering constant deliverables to their clients so they can incorporate client feedback into their next Sprint. This cycle puts client satisfaction at the forefront of the development process.

There are many different iterations of Agile Methodology, the most popular being Scrum and Kanban. All of these methods have the same main ideas in mind: communication and client satisfaction.

Agile Auditing

While it is obvious that a focus on collaboration and client satisfaction works great for managing a team, you might be wondering what Agile methodology has to do with your audit process. The goal here is to create an agile auditing process that manages risk continuously, instead of having to backtrack and retrace phantom steps.

Agile methodology gives more direction to an audit and leads to more effective sampling. By implementing a system that can monitor risk in all transactions, past and present, you can get used to regular deliverables that point directly to your organization’s problem areas. This prevents those shots in the dark that take up time and resources for little to no results.

Agile auditing can take the marathon of combing through random data samples to find discrepancies, and turn it into a cakewalk. Using internal audit automation tools, agile auditing can flag the areas that need your attention and save you the headache of trying to find them.

ThirdLine combines Agile and analytics to jet-fuel audits

ThirdLine is an internal audit automation tool that can jet-fuel any part of the audit process especially when combined with an Agile approach. 

You can use ThirdLine to figure out which areas and processes need your team’s attention and determine what you need to audit. Next, expedite the analytics to test internal controls and identify risk. Then, use this intelligence to track progress: See if improvements are being made after your data-driven recommendations and iterate in your next audit project based on results.

With read-only access, ThirdLine automates data from your enterprise resource planning (ERP) system to quickly provide the answers you need. ThirdLine is customizable to your organization’s needs with 400+ analytics across 10 risk areas.

  • Accounts Payable
  • Accounts Receivable
  • General Ledger
  • Human Resources
  • Payroll
  • Purchasing Card
  • Purchasing
  • Separation of Duties
  • Travel & Expense
  • Vendors

You are an internal auditor protecting your organization by keeping a sharp eye on controls and finding ways to mitigate risk. You highly value accurate insights from your data, but lack the time, budget and training to get the most of your data for your auditing cycles.

With ThirdLine, accomplish in one day what would take you one year with your current process. To learn more and request a demo, please visit our Demo page.

Agile and Auditing 101

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