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How to Engineer Complicated Engineering Audits

By December 10, 2020 No Comments

Recruiting engineers to join audit teams bolsters accuracy as well as credibility.

Highly technical engineering audits can be among the most challenging for internal auditors. A member of NeuGroup’s Internal Auditors’ Peer Group (IAPG) queried fellow internal auditors in a recent meeting about what parts of engineering they audit and the makeup of those auditing teams.
 
Expertise in short supply. A peer said engineering takes up more than 30% of his team’s 100-audit plan, and one of the challenges is finding sufficient engineering expertise, even as a technology company that employs plenty of engineers.

  • She noted IA aims to have IT auditors and technical program managers as a part of the audit teams, “So we have expertise going in.”
  • She added those experts also engage in ISO audits that assure audit quality.

Credibility bolster. An IAPG member at another tech company behemoth described a recently completed nine-month project that engaged half a dozen quality and design engineers as part of the audit team and also took advantage of co-sourcing to provide specific skills.

  • Analyzing a major client product and the company’s two biggest data centers, the IA team took a deep dive into the relevant systems and how information is being stored.
  • Bringing on those quality experts as well as engineers spanning the product life cycle was “hugely successful,” he said, adding, “We’re hoping to build on that and have more engineering expertise, because it also gives more credibility to the work.”
  • In the year ahead, he said, his team will look at how audit work done on the engineering and design side can be applied to manufacturing, “And also how they link up with the product road maps and the decisions that were made.”

Tracking revenue leaks. IAPG members agreed to discuss, offline, in greater detail their strategies and findings for engineering audits. One member asked to be included in those discussions, in part because her team had just embarked on a project to trace financial transactions all the way back to the engineering databases and could benefit from engineering expertise. 

  • She noted this is the first time for such a coordinated effort, from end to end. “It’s an advisory engagement and we’re working collaboratively with [the relevant departments] to do this completeness and accuracy check,” she said.
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Justin Jones

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