Angel investors scouring for the next unicorn, burgeoning tech hubs sprouting up around the world, developer conferences showing off the latest innovations… The wonderful world of tech seems to be on a rollercoaster lately.
Audit might seem an area traditionally closer to spreadsheets than scrum, but the innovative spirit of our auditors will have you think again. Rich Bailey, a senior manager in Audit, came up with a new way of project managing our audits – with a little inspiration from technology start-ups. Here’s his story.
Best of both worlds
“Being involved with audit innovation has been a fantastic opportunity to shape the future of our audit practice. We are constantly inspired by the capability of technology to transform the way businesses operate and serve their clients.
We’ve recently had the opportunity to work with amazing start-up tech companies who work on an agile basis. They use sprints to rapidly respond to their customers’ needs and a scrum process to engage the whole team in delivering high-quality products. This got us thinking: can we use agile to enhance how we project manage our audits.”
We jumped into action and created Agile Audit, which takes the principles of agile project management from the world of software development and applies it to audit. It makes the best of both worlds: we take the best elements of traditional project management (to plan the audit) and combine them with scrum (in the execution) to create a flexible, responsive and agile way of project managing an audit.
I couldn’t have done this on my own, of course: Chris Scott from UKITS and Emma Duthie from our Engagement Support Centre have been heavily involved. Together we have deployed Agile Audit and the supporting online platform to the UK audit practice.”
Everybody can do it
“After initial pilots, Agile Audit is now active on 40 engagements in the UK and over 1,000 people are using the methodology with our training and support. Feedback has been brilliant so far: teams collaborate better and issues are raised and resolved faster. Agile enables us to minimise the time spent on low value administrative type tasks and spend more time on high value areas such as key judgments. There is also greater transparency across the team on the status of the audit, making the audit more effective.
It’s been great to see the project grow. The agile audit approach has been integrated into our global audit learning curriculum delivered to every one of our qualified auditors as part of our annual technical excellence training across the global network. We’ve shared our pilot experience worldwide and are running pilots in our UK Tax, Internal Audit and Risk Advisory businesses.
Audit is an important part of what we do at Deloitte. We sign more than 14,500 audits in the UK each year and have more than 4,000 people working in this area in the UK alone. Our auditors work very hard to deliver quality audits that help build trust in the capital markets, so it’s great to see how people like Rich are supporting their critical work.