Lean techniques are revolutionizing the audit’s value potential.
Today’s market realities are causing companies to rethink the way they do business. To ensure they remain competitive, companies want more bang for their buck. Of course, receiving a high-quality audit and fulfilling core regulatory requirements remains their central priority, but as they broadly scrutinize efficiencies, companies are naturally wondering if their audit can offer something more.
Can we actually get more value out of something we’ve always done?
The answer to this question is yes. By looking through the Lean lens that has already transformed efficiency and productivity in business, auditors can now take a new approach to the audit—one that gives the client a more transparent understanding of its business processes and the various issues that can arise.
This approach greatly enhances auditors’ ability to apply organizational knowledge and insight throughout the audit while more effectively identifying controls gaps and improvement opportunities. Not only does this enhance audit quality, but organizations themselves can also apply key insights into business decisions, helping to improve product quality, lower costs, increase profitability, strengthen customer service and satisfaction, and driving overall performance.
Lean in Audit™ takes an innovative approach to the actual audit process, directly engaging organizational stakeholders and employing hands-on tools, such as walkthroughs and flowcharts of actual financial processes. Bringing the auditors together with responsible executives and management—as well as the people who drive and execute the organization’s auditable systems and processes—helps to create a broader level of collaboration and knowledge exchange.
Importantly, the advantages delivered by Lean in Audit are not a one-off occurrence. Not only can organizations independently leverage the results of Lean in Audit to make real, measurable change today, they can also realize ongoing value through the development and implementation of a continuous improvement culture based on consistently applying lean principles to business processes.
Perhaps the most innovative aspect of Lean in Audit is that, in the most basic sense, the audit hasn’t changed at all. It’s still focused on delivering the high-quality results and value companies and regulators have come to expect. By taking a different approach to the actual audit execution process, however, it allows companies to take advantage of a broad range of new information and analysis to help generate for themselves a multitude of vastly improved outcomes.