To fulfill the purpose of a financial audit — to present an accurate accounting of the business transactions of a company — businesses tend to automate as many processes as they can.
Automating internal auditing processes improves quality and assures more accurate results for an auditing company. It also provides better documentation management, allows reports to be generated automatically, and saves time for auditors, who can then devote their time and energy to offering feedback and guidance to customers.
But how do companies choose the right auditing software when there are so many options on the market?
The main differences between auditing management software solutions involve their varying sets of features. One collection of features might fit one company perfectly but not be enough for another.
Also, it is common for businesses to be disappointed by off-the-shelf solutions and turn to custom development services. This allows businesses to get a fintech solution tailored to their needs, with all of the required features at hand, plus customized audit templates and reports.
In this article, we will examine the most important features of audit management software that make auditors’ lives easier.
Features That Automate Auditing Processes: an Overview
Most of the following elements build a software solution that is easy to use, automates core processes, provides failure-free performance, and processes data securely.
Signs of a good audit software.
This is what a good audit management software solution should provide:
With a clear and easy-to-operate interface, the company doesn’t need to train employees to use the software properly. Also, there is a lower risk of failure when, for example, a new record is entered.
Planning is a crucial step in performing an audit; this process requires extra preparation and fully depends on the quality of the plan. Once you have prepared an adequate plan, the software indicates which tasks need to be accomplished and what has been completed.
Forms and templates
Using data from previous audits, users can effortlessly create new audits with the help of templates. Data forms ease the process of obtaining and reporting data.
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Corrective and Preventive Actions module
This module is dedicated to processing weak areas and managing non-compliance. CAPA features help to document the proper resolution of issues and to track corrective measures.
Auditing software should support audit closure and data reporting. The generated reports should contain audit results analysis and CAPA outcomes. The solution may also gather feedback on the audit process.
Generally, customers prefer cloud-based auditing software because of its affordability and 24/7 accessibility.
Now, let’s get to the features themselves and take a look at which of them auditors need the most, and what benefits they bring.
Essential Audit Tools
Here are the top 7 audit software features that businesses need the most.
Top 7 features of audit software.
Audit Checklist Templates
The goal of an auditing solution is to bring the entire auditing process into a single user-oriented platform. The checklist template module plays an important part in this process.
Depending on the company’s domain or industry, the checklist will differ drastically. Some companies need production safety audits; some need maintenance or compliance checks. The software solution you use should be adapted to your industry to provide you with the audit templates you really need for your company.
The audit checklist module greatly reduces paperwork and exempts auditors from doing routine activities and manual analysis of obtained data.
Audit checklist templates features.
Another set of desired parameters is:
- Individual assessments
- Certified data security
- Document export in standard formats
- Easy customization of checklists and templates
- No programming skills needed
Corrective action tracking tools
As mentioned earlier, Corrective and Preventive Actions are a crucial part of the auditing process.
For any business that operates in a regulatory environment, it is important to apply and track Corrective and Preventive Actions to stay compliant. Workers apply much effort to investigating, repairing, and tracking quality issues, and also find ways to prevent a recurrence.
Proper audit management software makes it a lot easier for company staff to keep their eye on every issue. The CAPA tool, when properly implemented, will offer ways to enhance product or service quality, increase fulfillment, and of course ensure compliance with the regulatory standards of the industry or country.
CAPA (Corrective and Preventive Actions) features.
What else do businesses get from CAPA tools?
- Management of audit findings
- Responsibility assignment and action item status display
- Incident management and systematic problem trends
- Change management
- Responsible sourcing
- Closure due dates tracking
- Automatic alerts via email notifications about items’ status
As a result, businesses get a more sustainable and safe workplace overall.
A visual format is always beneficial for auditors who have to work with data and watch progress and results.
The visual format is also helpful when presenting data to stakeholders and managers.
Custom dashboards in audit management solutions help solve all these issues with the help of:
- Pivot tables
- Trending data
- Other on-demand tables with analytical results
Custom dashboards in audit management solutions.
Taking into account that trending data is often the most important type of information that auditors need, dashboards have become a vital tool for understanding how a business is progressing over time.
Compliance management tools in audit solutions ensure that the business can operate in any location and still be compliant with all given requirements. This is often extremely important if a business is trying to corner a foreign market, begin conquering a new domain, and so on.
If you plan to engage a custom software development team, look for a financial software development company that has a global presence or at least has similar projects in its portfolio.
An experienced vendor can ensure that:
- You, as an auditor, will properly conduct your job no matter where you are located.
- You will comply with all required standards even if the business operates in multiple countries simultaneously.
- You will improve the compliance culture and develop a collaborative approach among stakeholders
Businesses get even more benefits from compliance management tools in their audit software:
- Make your audit compliant with multiple frameworks and regulations at once and avoid excess testing.
- Track audits and assessments via one software tool: audit readiness check, self-certifications, collaboration with regulators.
- Rank risks and identify which weaknesses are the most dangerous to the business.
Digital compliance management is audit software.
Thus, audit solutions with compliance management tools help organizations safely meet industry standards and compliance requirements.
An audit process that lacks proper planning can lead to budget and deadline increases, delays in completing particular audit processes, and an overall increase to the cost of the audit.
Software that helps auditors plan their activities must include features such as:
- Preparation of audit and planning checklist
- Pre-audit budgeting
- Supervision of audit performance
Sometimes the number of audits that must be done is overwhelming and hard to control, and auditors have a point of view about how to prioritize them eventually, considering factors such as:
- Perceived risk
- Performance of past audits
- Regulations and other requirements
- Availability of resources
Audit planning features help auditors cope with all these parameters using configurable audit algorithms. With this feature, any auditor can create a comprehensive audit plan to be presented for review.
Audit planning software – important features.
What benefits does an audit planning software module bring?
- Auditors can identify important areas of the audit and devote extra attention to them more easily.
- Auditors identify and resolve any relevant issues daily with no extra effort.
- Auditors choose engagement team members using a data-wise approach, which results in more efficient engagement.
- Supervision of engagement team members and review of their work is easier and more efficient.
As mentioned earlier, eliminating paperwork and the human factor helps to reduce errors. Manual methods used for traditional audits sometimes led to results influenced by human error.
A robust audit management software solution with document management features is your top choice if you’re looking to strengthen the validity of audit data. Here is what document management tools typically do:
Provide easier access to required documents. No more shuffling through file cabinets and email inboxes; all data is at hand. All documents can be transformed into one file format for better accessibility and searchability.
Increase security and ensure better regulatory compliance. Digital documents are stored more securely, and the system grants access to authorized users only.
Help update procedures promptly to comply with changed regulations. Industry regulations and requirements change more often than other types of regulations, and you definitely want your business to be able to comply quickly and with ease.
Track the workflow trail and provide auditors with detailed information about it. For example, a document management module will track what changes were made to the documents, who made them, and when.
Help employees improve their productivity. When employees perform audits, they need access to a certain set of documents, e.g. audit plans and checklists. With a document management solution, they don’t have to waste time searching for the right set of papers.
Document management benefits in audit software.
And, speaking of extra benefits of audit software, here are some additional advantages of document management:
- Automates tasks related to documents.
- Integrates with compliance management tools, dashboards, and other solution modules.
- Tracks audit activities automatically.
The better auditors understand the risks, the more efficient and precise the auditing process will be.
For risk assessment, auditors build a Risk Assessment Plan that describes the following:
- How to identify risks
- How to assess risks
- How they affect the organization’s strategic objectives
- How to avoid or at least mitigate detected risks
During the risk assessment process, auditors identify and assess the potential impact and likelihood of risks inside or outside the business. Then auditors develop controls that are adequate to reduce the risk or mitigate it, so that the risk is at a manageable level.
Risk assessment software features in audit management solutions.
So what core features does good risk assessment software have?
- Identification of potential risks
- Detecting who or what could be harmed by these risks
- Analyzing risk likelihood and severity
- Detecting adequate measures to mitigate risks
- Documenting all findings
- Review assessment and re-do it if necessary
Auditing Management Software Examples: What Fintech Market Offers
There are plenty of out-of-the box audit management software solutions to choose from.
You have probably heard of the most popular ones, and we will review what features they offer.
This is a cloud solution mainly for accounting. It was developed to make it easier to work with piles of documents, as auditors always have to deal with many of them.
What Hubdoc does:
- fetches financial documents from versatile sources: banks, utilities, telecommunications providers, other vendors;
- extracts key data from documents;
- syncs with cloud accounting platforms to exchange transactions with attached files
This solution is known for its powerful reconciliation and payment processing features.
Hubdoc – audit management solution.
But is it that good for you?
Here are some drawbacks to Hubdoc:
- The solution admin can grant access to other users but cannot customize the permissions they have. All permitted users get full access and can edit any document.
- The solution does not provide an audit log. If a particular bill or receipt is missing, you can’t find out who deleted it and just restore it.
- You are limited to three companies only, which means this solution isn’t suitable for big businesses and large accounting projects.
This auditing software is good for small businesses that want to keep all documents at hand, but lacks important customization options.
AppZen is an AI-driven solution that automates the work of finance teams. Its initial purpose is to automate manual auditing processes, uncover previously hidden problems, and enhance decision-making.
Features AppZen offers:
- useful AI functions: semantic analysis, Deep Learning, and Computer Vision for bringing extra intelligence to day-to-day tasks
- a mobile application that complements the functionality of the web app
- an easy observation tool for all financial data
- automatically analyses invoices before payment, to reduce costs
AppZen – audit management solution.
But even AI-driven solutions may not be enough for specific businesses.
Users say the reporting tool in AppZen is still under development and lacks crucial features that audit specialists need every day.
This is a good example of an audit software solution. AuditFile is also a cloud-based app that is targeted at internal audit businesses.
It helps perform efficient audits and reviews, and offers a set of extra features:
- business metrics tracking
- powerful dashboards with real-time information
- easy generation of financial statements
- advanced data security, with complete backups every night
But, as with any out-of-the-box solution, AuditFile has its drawbacks.
AuditFile – audit software solution.
Users say the solution lacks a complementary mobile application that would ease access to the system. Also, some users feel the interface is not intuitive and lacks extra guides.
As you can see, some businesses may find their best option is to develop custom auditing software, with all the features they require.
Our Experience: How HQSoftware Improved Audit Quality
At HQSoftware, we have hands-on experience in developing audit solutions for financial audits.
The customer — a large provider of audit services for self-managed superfunds — turned to us to enhance their legacy solution.
Our goal was to migrate the solution to a new technological stack, resolve performance issues, and finalize the functionality of the product.
Our experience: how HQSoftware improved audit quality
Under tight deadlines, the HQSoftware team was able to deliver a fine-tuned auditing software solution capable of performing audit processes for more than 20,000 funds across Australia.
How Much Does It Cost to Develop Fintech Software?
The most important parameters that affect the price of audit management software development are:
- software type and its complexity
- number of features
- whether a custom UX/UI is required
- number of platforms (web, mobile, desktop)
- composition of backend infrastructure
- application maintenance costs
- vendor’s hourly rates
Customers differ, as well as the requirements of their businesses, so it’s best to study every case of custom audit software development individually rather than generalize.
But nevertheless, we can try to make a rough estimation of how it costs to develop a mid-range audit management software solution.
Let’s start with the team of developers. It usually consists of these members:
- Project Manager. This specialist ensures that the deadlines and budget restrictions are being met by other team members.
- Business Analyst. This important team member examines the business processes of the customer, decides how to improve the audit process, and helps to build a solution that improves audit quality in general.
- Developers with suitable technical competencies.
- UX/UI designers, who will create a user-friendly and good-looking interface.
- Quality Assurance engineers and testers. These specialists ensure that the solution is bug-free and ready for faultless deployment.
- DevOps for automating development operations and making the process more precise and clear.
Sometimes, other specialists are required, too — system architects, for example.
But for the approximate assessment below we will consider a team of vital specialists only: PM, BA, developers, and testers.
All these software professionals have an hourly rate — the price of their work per hour.
To count the approximate price of auditing software development we will assume an hourly rate of $35, which is according to average rates in Europe.
This is how long it will take to develop a simple auditing app:
- Both the PM and BA will be on part-time engagement and spend half of their business hours on this project.
- We need at least 2 developers to build an auditing solution.
- At least one tester should be involved in the project.
With such a setup, the team will spend 4 months on development, which amounts to about 2000 hours total.
That means a simple auditing application will cost around $70.000.
How much does it cost to develop a mid-range audit management software solution?
To get a precise estimation, contact us for a free individual assessment.
Improving Audit Quality – Checklist
Now that you know that audit software is not limited to planning and documenting only, keep this checklist on hand to help you identify the proper audit software solution for your company.
Here are important software features that any good audit solution should include:
- Creating and managing audit checklist templates
- Managing Corrective and Preventive Actions
- Building well-thought-out dashboards for adequate data display
- Managing compliance and regulatory standards
- Planning audits and collecting data for this process
- Managing documents and providing easier access to all documentation
- Performing risk assessment and helping to build adequate measures to mitigate risks
Also, customers expect auditing software to bring some extra benefits, such as:
- User-friendly interface
- Clear forms and data templates
- Cloud accessibility
- Reporting options
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