Are Your Audit and Compliance Methods Limiting Your Growth? Try This.

You might have the best growth plans and product portfolio available. You could have a great team of leaders ready to carry out your vision for 2021 and beyond.

But regulatory compliance and audit assurance can be drag on forward progress. But there’s a way to cut that time in half. Following three quick tips will significantly reduce the time your organization spends on audits, examinations and monitoring activities.

This Fintech Friday was inspired by Redboard’s Findings Accountability Framework webinar.

Signs of a Slow Credit Union Audit Process

Backlogs of findings don’t just slow down audit teams. Unfortunately, they also affect the performance of the entire credit union.

So, what are signs that your audits aren’t moving as quickly as they should?

  • Findings take months to clear;
  • Your business units are frustrated with the process;
  • Your audit or supervisory committee wants more from your team;

Of course, there may be other signs. But the best way to know if audits are detracting from other work is to speak with your auditors and your business leaders and managers.

Then, look into a proven method that cuts audit administration time in half. It’s going to sound obvious when I say what it is…

 

Three Ways to Improve Audit Efficiency

Credit union audit management platform Redboard has been streamlining audit processes for years. In that time, they have helped numerous credit unions finish audits more quickly and with more consistent results.

Yes, Redboard provides a platform that automates audit, exam and compliance monitoring activity at credit unions. But they’re quick to point out that it’s possible for audit teams and other departments to implement some of the same techniques on their own.

Their Findings Accountability Framework webinar introduces three audit efficiency tips. (Actually, there are far more than three tips, but this is a Cliff’s Notes version!)

These are things that any audit department can do to improve operational speed in every affected department:

1.    Improve your credit union audit structure

All auditors bring structure to their work. But Redboard found that some structures worked better than others. The best structures took out a lot of the guesswork that comes during drawn out audits.

(No more asking, “who’s working on this?” or “when is this due?”)

Here are some quick wins to improve performance:

  • Classify all findings into “workflow stages.” g. draft, management response, remediation, closed.
  • Track and keep visible all due dates. Try to track two different due dates: Management response dates and remediation due dates.

2.    Require auditors to guide business units more clearly

Auditors rely on business areas to help them complete their work. But the business has other priorities that are critical to the credit union, and they can’t always keep audit tasks moving quickly.

And it’s easy to let something lapse for a day or two. Or more.

Here are two quick wins to better involve business units:

  • Create tailored to-do lists. Auditors should create personalized task lists for each participant, and each manager.
  • Manage from one place. Organizing with spreadsheets and emails that are located all over your network is messy. Your auditors must find a single location from which to keep requests, reports, spreadsheets, documents, etc.

3.    Encourage more communication

For credit union audits, good communication means lots of communication. Effective audit programs are characterized by communications that are result in clarity and transparency.

Three things your audit team can do to keep things on track (and cut time) include:

  • Send out daily “due today” emails to everyone who has a deadline that day.
  • Send a weekly digest to all business unit personnel involved in the process. This will ensure that audit activities stay top of mind, without getting in the way of their primary responsibilities.
  • Create templates and procedures for reporting. This will keep your audit team from starting from scratch each time, saving countless hours.

Additional Resources for Credit Unions

Following these basic ideas can drastically improve your credit union’s audit efficiency. And not just for the auditors—for your business departments, too!

That’s more time they can spend on their own work and growing the credit union.

This Fintech Friday was inspired by a webinar from Redboard. They have a few upcoming webinars that dive deep into the subject here. We’ve attended it, and we strongly recommend your audit team does, too.

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