Data analytics is valuable at every stage of an internal audit:
- Planning: helps identify potential areas of risk and opportunity. We can then concentrate on these for a more efficient audit.
- Fieldwork: offers new insights by combining client data, and sometimes external data.
- Reporting: our informative visual presentation style increases management and board understanding of any problems and their causes.
We embed data analytics across the audit cycle. Our devoted analytics capability supports our internal audit reviews and our team uses these techniques on most reviews.
Lean and Six Sigma - improving operational efficiency
While effectiveness of risk management and controls is essential for internal audit, equally important are opportunities to gain efficiency by automating or optimising processes and controls.
All our internal audit team members are trained in Lean and Six Sigma techniques, enabling them to identify redundancy in processes or controls, and areas where manual functions could be automated.
Root cause analysis - pulling the right lever for change
When an organisation experiences a problem, internal audit must get to the bottom of what happened, why it happened, and what should be done to fix it. Only then can we ensure a better outcome in the future.
Our internal audit teams are well trained in root cause analysis, to help our clients see opportunities for productive and sustainable improvements in their organisation.
Risk culture - the power of behavioural observation
Risks become problems as a result of human behaviours. So understanding the role that behaviours play can be crucial to identifying the root cause of a problem.
PwC applies risk culture auditing and behavioural questioning and observation techniques when carrying out internal audits. All our team members are trained in these methods. We can also bring in PwC's People Consulting team and behavioural psychologists when deeper insights are needed.
PwC offers clients an optional, customised, Benchmarking Insights Report. This annual document benchmarks the client organisation against some 500 other PwC internal and external audit clients across a range of financial and non-financial criteria.
In today's business environment, this useful measurement tool helps clients identify areas for improvement and, if needed, formulate a convincing business case for change.
Risk and Controls Insight Report - joining the dots
PwC's Risk and Controls Insight Tool brings together a range of risk and assurance information, to produce an annual controls summary of the most critical themes and insights - the Risk and Controls Insight Report.
This report identifies issues needing additional management consideration, in order to optimise the organisation's internal controls and provide a realistic view of the overall health of the organisation. Management may wish to include this in an annual report on internal audit to key stakeholders.
Among executive and board members, the report stimulates discussion of issues in the organisation and useful ideas from elsewhere.
AskU - innovation in gathering information
AskU is a unique social mobile app developed by PwC. It helps our clients to survey populations and gather data - cost-effectively and efficiently. Real-time insights are achieved as survey quotas are filled within hours, rather than weeks, accelerating decision making.
AskU can constantly profile respondents, providing deeper and richer insights. Additional benefits include broad reach, demographic depth, geo-fencing and corporate responsibility. A number of our internal audit clients have successfully used AskU to gather evidence to support their broader work.