Implementing IT controls – the challenges
IT controls are becoming more and more important to perform and document, but this also poses a line of challenges. The increasing requirements to performance and documentation of IT controls reflect a world that is becoming more and more data-driven and dependent on adequate IT security.
Improving the quality of IT controls, and choosing a solution that supports the needs of the individual organization, can be the decisive step for better control. Moreover, implementing standardized controls can entail better and more reliable documentation, and streamline workflows, which would improve the overall quality of the work performed and reduce time spent.
Organizations face numerous challenges in relation to IT controls. There will often be difficulties in determining the organization’s appropriate level of internal control, and compliance objectives are often unclear. In organizations where an internal control system is in place, performing and documenting the controls is not always done sufficiently. This can be due to an absent approach from top management on the necessity of adequate internal control, which can lead to employees not prioritizing the controls.
Another challenge that organizations face is determining whether the procedures in place are of adequate quality and whether they are focused on the most critical risks.
The audit documentation to-do list
What should be included in the audit documentation of IT controls? Here is a list of what should not be forgotten:
- Plan and prepare the scope and objectives of the audit
- Describe the scoped audit area
- Outline an audit program
- Document the performed audience steps and the gathered audit evidence
- Provide a description of audit findings, conclusions and recommendations
- Include a copy of the report issued as a result of the audit work
- Include evidence of a supervisory review
Optimize your process – questions to contemplate
IT controls and IT audit should continuously be improved and streamlined to constantly optimize processes and reduce costs. Essential questions should therefore be contemplated.
Consider whether the external auditors’ IT budget seems to fit the amount of work required. Could more be done to ensure that external auditors perform an efficient and effective IT audit? And, has the communication with external auditors been consistent in relation to planning, fieldwork, and wrap-up phases of the IT audit?
A solution for ensuring documentation through IT controls
One solution could be to apply a solution like Impero that can structure IT controls as well as monitor the performance and documentation of these, so that IT audit can be performed as fast, effectively, and productively as possible. Moreover, with Impero it is possible to reuse documentation, which can contribute to a significant reduction in time spent on providing documentation and will improve the overall productivity
Impero is a Danish software company that offers an intuitive cloud-based compliance solution. Impero’s solution has a unique and light-weight approach that helps companies achieve compliance in various areas including month-end closing, SOX compliance, IT general controls (ITGC), energy and tax, and management controlling. Impero can help both small, medium and large companies develop or improve their internal control in an appropriate and cost-efficient manner.
Try out Impero today, get a free trial here. Start your fully functional 30-day trial right now and dive into Impero’s solution. We’ve got tutorials to help you get started.