A practical approach towards auditing in an IT environment

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A practical approach towards auditing in an IT environment

The way of working for auditing professionals has undergone tremendous change due to the pandemic. The change experienced in the last couple of years has been the most momentous change in the profession. COVID-19 forced the firms to accelerate their transition towards more remote and internet-dependent procedures. The shift induced by the pandemic was very sudden and brought with it many challenges in adapting to the fast-changing and evolving corporate world. 

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As technology becomes more relevant in the auditing process, a deficit in a diverse range of a candidate’s skills is one of the most prevalent issues. While the traditional recruitment procedures demand a background in business, companies will have to look more towards candidates who possess a more holistic technological understanding. 

There are major technological changes that are being introduced in the auditing world. Artificial intelligence is one such disruptive technology that can change major processes of the auditing world. Artificial intelligence packs the capabilities of scavenging through vast data and performing digital analysis which cannot be done with precision even with a group of highly skilled auditors. 

While the use of technology brings with it accuracy, time-saving, and other benefits to the profession; auditing professionals need to have a more practical approach to auditing. This requires the professional to review the documentation in the applications, study key functions of the application, identify business risks and see how the risks are being handled by the technological substitutes. The job of an auditing professional will not be merely set to a supervisory role.  They will have to source documents for their management, handle errors mechanisms and control the data entry authorization rules. With regards to processing controls, auditors should ensure that the proper mapping of business rules is done. This includes company principles and other crucial requirements like sticking to the laws, rules, and regulations. 

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To work with proper feasibility with the technological features and enhance its uses, an auditing professional should do the following for a smooth approach towards auditing in an IT environment:

  • Always ensure at the various stages of the IT system for various validations by planning, designing, testing, and maintenance. 
  • The IT system will provide tremendous help in maintaining data related to the company but the auditing entity or firm will also have to maintain complete documentation related to all stages of an IT system. 
  • The auditing requirements for the smooth functioning of the process need to be updated and kept in check at all times by the auditing professionals.
  • A risk-based approach should be adopted in the planning of audits of IT systems. For this, a listing of all the significant IT systems in use should be maintained and kept up-to-date. 

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