Glossary

Audit Management

What is Audit Management?

Audit management is the oversight, governance, and established procedures that help you manage an audit. Audits comprise several stages that include preparation, execution, reporting, and follow-up procedures.  To ace an audit, teams must work efficiently. Audit preparation and follow-up procedures may get overwhelming very quickly if a workable audit management tool is not in place. 

While managing the process manually with manual spreadsheets, long meetings, and email is possible, automating the process of managing audit workflows will eliminate the familiar pain points that accompany audit preparation done the conventional way. Audit management software makes a huge difference in audit preps, facilitating tasks like storing documentation, creating forms, and following up on third-party risk assessments.

The growing body of stringent data privacy laws and security mandates has pushed for better methods of audit preparation and evidence collection to address increasingly complex requirements and verify the accuracy and completeness of implemented security processes.

What are the Two Types of Audits in GRC?

When discussing audit management in the GRC field, there are two main types of audits: internal and external. 

The difference between the two lies in the source and scope of the audit, as well as the independence of the auditors involved. Internal audits help with gap analysis and identifying areas in need of improvement while external audits provide an independent evaluation of compliance with an external standard. Both types of audits contribute to the overall risk management, governance, and compliance efforts.

When it comes to choosing a digital tool to manage audits, you should be able to find a solution for both external and internal audit management software in one product.

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Audit Management: Steps to Success

Dedicate a team

Choose the right people from the organization to form a dedicated team that can focus on the audit. Draft a list of roles and responsibilities related to your audit so you or your auditor will know who to address or assign questions to. This will be essential to drive the audit through to completion. 

Understand the audit requirements

Thoroughly review the security standards and regulations applicable to your organization. 

Conduct a pre-audit risk assessment

An incredibly productive way to get to know your current security position and gain deep insights into your organization is to conduct a comprehensive risk assessment. Using the right GRC platform, you can simplify the task of identifying and closing gaps, and use the outcome of the risk assessment to communicate the importance of the audit easily across the organization. 

Limit Scope

Take a good look at your organization as a whole. Identify and choose which systems to include in your audit. You may think including every system in your organization may be the highest form of due diligence, but you may be unnecessarily increasing the workload and even including services from third parties that are already SOC 2 certified. Limit your scope to increase manageability and focus.

Maintain accurate documentation

Keep detailed records of security policies, procedures, and control implementation. Auditors rely heavily on evidence and documentation to support their conclusions. The evidence acquired is a major factor in the outcome of your audit. After the tremendous investment in the certification and compliance process, producing a well-marked audit trail is the least you can do to ensure your efforts will be smooth and successful. 

Communication is key

Audit prep can involve members of every department across an organization. When working with so many people, misunderstandings are common. Particularly when communicating regarding controls, ensure the team dedicated to remediation fully understands the gaps that need to be addressed. Also of importance is to maintain communication with your auditor in the case of an external auditor to understand their expectations and needs. 

Use automation and technology

There are an incredible array of innovative tools and platforms out there to help you streamline the audit management system. Choose an audit management solution capable of compliance automation to automatically identify, monitor, remediate, and report. Keep in mind that compliance with frameworks like SOC 2 will involve an annual audit, so use a platform that is easy to update and that will easily scale up with your company as you need. Look out for features that simplify the complex & tedious process of audit management and take out some of the manual labor.

An automated solution for increasing compliance maturity removes repeated tasks, saving time and money while seamlessly cross-referencing controls and requirements across many frameworks. The result is a simplified process that produces data that is always correct and current.

Start Getting Value With
Centraleyes for Free

See for yourself how the Centraleyes platform exceeds anything an old GRC
system does and eliminates the need for manual processes and spreadsheets
to give you immediate value and run a full risk assessment in less than 30 days

Want to talk to Centraleyes about Audit Management?

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