Robots and automation has been a hot topic lately, and we have talked about the increased use of it several times. There are many aspects to consider when we as internal auditors think about how we can use this in our everyday work.
Processes that are suitable to automate are; routine, manual, processes where it’s easy to make mistakes, and those that are based on rules (meaning that no subjective judgement is needed) and processes where data is easily accessible and readable.
An example where robotization could be used is in the risk analysis work. The actual risk analysis work is ultimately dependent on the auditor’s judgment and expertise. However, an automated / robotic process can streamline the work by collecting and organizing data from various subsystems and then automatically move information between different files and analysis tools to finally be presented to the auditor for assessment.
Another area that could be automated is the production of reports and tables regarding. For example, outstanding observations (or closed, etc.) to management and the Board of Directors. Putting together reports is a work that needs to be done at regular intervals and is quite monotonous, which makes it suitable to automate.
However, before automating any process, it’s important that you have a clear picture of how much you will save by automation, and to have that clear picture, you need to know what the cost is today. Do you know how much your risk analysis work or report preparation costs today?
Written by Rasmus Forssblad