From Demonstrating Compliance and Corporate Policeman, to Business Enabler and Strategic Advisor, While Saving Hundreds of Thousands per Year
BOSTON, MA--(Marketwire - September 9, 2009) - An unceasing focus on compliance, combined with
an increasing focus on managing risk, has created greater pressure from the
Board and heavier workloads on the internal audit function, most of which
are still overly reliant on manual and paper-intensive processes. The new
report "Beyond Demonstrating Compliance: The
Reinvention of Internal Audit" by Aberdeen Group, a Harte-Hanks Company
(NYSE: HHS), describes how Best-in-Class organizations are reallocating
their internal audit resources to achieve the greatest value-add.
Within the top performers, internal audit functions are working to increase
their relevance to the business, by deliberately rebalancing their focus
beyond the mere demonstration of compliance with financial processes (e.g.,
Sarbanes-Oxley) towards adding value with respect to other, non-financial
processes and risks. Strategies of the leading companies in the study
include regular alignment of internal audit plans with the priorities of
the business, and better communication of the business value of internal
audit to key stakeholders.
"The research shows that internal audit's typical approach is basically
'hit and run,' as a consequence of its heavy workloads and over-reliance on
manual and paper-intensive processes. This leaves much of the function's
potential added value to the business on the table," said Derek E. Brink,
vice president and research fellow for IT Security, Aberdeen Group.
"Increased use of technologies for automation; monitoring and tracking;
reporting; and identifying, classifying, and prioritizing risk will go a
long way towards helping the internal audit function reposition itself from
the role of corporate policeman to one of advisor and business enabler in
the post-SOX era."
The research shows that automation of issues tracking and escalation,
monitoring and testing of controls, and reporting enables faster, more
cost-effective execution of must-do tasks, and frees up time and resources
to work on more strategic activities. Best-in-Class internal audit
departments are more effective and yet save an average of US $400,000 per
year in staffing costs alone.
To obtain a complimentary copy of the report, please visit
To view complimentary 30-minute webcasts highlighting findings from this
and other Aberdeen research in IT Security and IT GRC, visit
For additional access to complimentary Information Technology research, please visit research.aberdeen.com.
About Aberdeen Group, a Harte-Hanks Company
Aberdeen provides fact-based research and market intelligence that delivers
demonstrable results. Having queried more than 30,000 companies in the
past two years, Aberdeen is positioned to educate users to action: driving
market awareness, creating demand, enabling sales, and delivering
meaningful return-on-investment analysis. As the trusted advisor to the
global technology markets, corporations turn to Aberdeen for insights that
As a Harte-Hanks Company, Aberdeen plays a key role of putting content in
context for the global direct and targeted marketing company. Aberdeen's
analytical and independent view of the "customer optimization" process of
Harte-Hanks (Information - Opportunity - Insight - Engagement -
Interaction) extends the client value and accentuates the strategic role
Harte-Hanks brings to the market. For additional information, visit Aberdeen or call (617) 854-5200, or to
learn more about Harte-Hanks,
call (800) 456-9748.