Transforming public sector audits: the 7 indicators of audit maturity


Audit teams at companies are not merely just tick-box functionaries in public sectors companies, they are often critical to the GRC process.

In a recent post by Diligent, the company outlined seven key indicators of audit maturity in transforming public sector audits.

Diligent highlighted that audit teams are not merely functionaries ticking boxes in public sector organisations; they are crucial gears in the machinery of governance, risk management, and compliance. Their role goes beyond routine checks; they can shape the overall organisational strategy and have a significant influence on strategic planning.

A sophisticated audit team brings maturity to their programmes, utilising their unique insights to magnify their role in planning, create new opportunities for the organisation, and highlight their value to the executive leadership. The focus here is to delve into the seven pivotal indicators of audit maturity, demonstrating how they empower audit teams in public sector organisations to serve as strategic advisers.

The seven key traits, amongst others, include mature audit programme exhibits alignment with the organisation’s strategic plan, especially in risk management, while maintaining flexibility to adapt to changes.

In addition, icorporation of data analytics is vital in mature audit teams. It enhances data quality, enables auditors to handle vast amounts of data, and provides valuable insights, which ensures clear communication. Audit management software with data analytics can aid in embedding this approach strategically.

Mature audit teams use a comprehensive risk assessment. Analysing both quantitative and qualitative data helps them gain a complete perspective of their organisation’s risk, enabling them to perceive interconnected risks and their potential implications.

Audit teams need to present diverse skills and backgrounds, which are essential for advising the executive leaders. These may range from critical thinking to industry-specific knowledge, providing a more extensive base for insights.

Visibility is key for mature audit departments, who document and monitor their procedures, adapting as new developments emerge. User-friendly dashboards can drive clear reporting, fostering more effective and agile audits and providing real-time updates and vital insights to executive leadership.

Automation and continuous monitoring are vital in maturing audit processes. They not only hasten audits but also reduce human error possibilities. Continuous monitoring lets audit teams identify and rectify problems in real time, fostering continuous improvement in audit processes.

The pinnacle indicator of a mature audit programme is its capability to serve as a strategic partner to the executive leadership. When auditors and other business parts (such as risk and compliance teams) are on the same wavelength, they can interact better. By leveraging data analytics, automated workflows, continuous monitoring, and a diverse skill set, audit teams can generate strategic decision-making insights.

Read the full post here.

Diligent recently launched Board Reporting for ESG, a ‘first-of-its-kind’ dashboard to provide a full view of an organisation’s ESG posture.

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