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Enhancing internal audit processes through digital technology

A two-day conference called, “Embracing Digital Technology in Internal Audit”, is being held at the headquarters of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), according to a recent report.

Over 200 public sector internal auditors from 29 countries are attending the event on 22 – 23 November 2018.

ADB President Mr Takehiko Nakao highlighted how the internal auditing processes of organisations can greatly improve with the use of digital technology tools and services.

Employing these will enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of their overall operations.

Discussions focused on the role of technology in the internal audit process of organisations, which include data analytics and robotic process automation of monitoring, among others.

AuditWithoutWalls! Community was first launched by the Bank in April 2017. The iaTech 2018 event is its first conference.

All of the conference participants are members of the said community.

The community aims to promote learning and sharing among public sector internal auditors as well as identify and apply digital technologies in the internal audit process.

Moreover, it aims to provide a networking platform for internal auditors around the world.

In his opening remarks, the ADB President explained how critical it is for internal audit functions to keep pace with the change in digital technology.

These new technologies should be leveraged to better evaluate and improve an organisation’s processes and systems.

Through its Digital Agenda 2030 roadmap, the Bank is actively harnessing the use of digital technology in its loan and grant operations in such areas as health, education, finance, and infrastructure in its developing member countries.

Furthermore, the Banks is also investing in new technologies for more efficient and effective management of ADB internal functions and processes.

This includes better IT mobility, enhanced cloud platforms, and improved technology infrastructure.

The Banks’s Office of the Auditor General, for instance, is using data analytics software to automate test procedures and assist other departments in implementing a continuous monitoring approach.

The conference highlights the need for auditors to upgrade their own skills.

There is a deficit of audit professionals with expertise in digital technology. Organisations who want to leverage and benefit from emerging technologies must support the skills development of their internal auditors.

The Bank has supported the skills development of internal auditors through the training program Internal Audit Capability Model.

This training was conducted for five government ministries in Cambodia and the Department of Finance in the Philippines.

The training will enable internal auditors to apply appropriate internal auditing principles to improve their auditing processes and practices.

The Bank has been very vocal of its support of digital technology and how it can bolster organisational processes.

A recent report highlighted the Bank’s efforts to make better use of knowledge and technology to improve development outcomes of developing member countries.

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