Audit management software seems like a huge cost to a lot of CEOs and Boards of Directors. The nuances between project management and audit management can make specialized audit software feel exorbitant. However, audit management software is like a fancy car. It’s easy to drive, but people don’t always understand what’s under the hood. That’s why audit managers have to help the CEOs, CFOs, and Boards understand why they need to buy the Ferrari as well as the Bugatti.
How is the Project Management Process Similar to the Audit Management Process?
Many steps in the project management process align with the steps in the audit management process. Both require scoping, planning, documentation, and monitoring and controlling. These similarities make a separate audit software appear redundant.
Audit standards set out by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) control the audit process, and separate project management standards make it tricky to explain the difference.
Non-compliance with product management standards can leave a business open to civil liabilities in a product liability lawsuit. Not meeting audit standards, however, can open an organization up to criminal liabilities, as in the case of non-compliance with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (SOX).
These different drivers of compliance mean audit management and project management require different vehicles.
How is Project Management Software Different from Audit Management Software?
While project audits and compliance audits both contain the same word, they are different under the hood. As the audit manager, you understand that you can audit a project, but that a compliance audit is an entirely different beast.
This difference means both types of audits need individually-responsive management systems. We’re talking about the difference between a Bugatti and a Ferrari. They’re both expensive, sleek, and fast. However, they differ in the mechanics.
Both software systems offer ways to track, schedule, plan, and collaborate among stakeholders. However, while both audit and project management require these steps, audit management is much more complex and requires a software that reflects that complexity.
Why is Audit Management More Complex?
Project management requires groups to work together on a product. While standards exist, and many of them overlap, audit management comes with both internal audits and external audits. Adding this external layer necessitates nearly constant documentation of the audit process that can be overwhelming when many different internal stakeholders are involved.
Moreover, compliance audits often contain overlapping requirements, further complicating the compliance process as information silos keep departments from talking to one another. For example, during an ISO audit, IT audit, PCI DSS audit, and SOX audit, you need to prove that your firewalls are appropriately protecting your data. This may seem easy since everyone uses the same firewall.
Except, the requirements for how to configure the firewall and identify which data must be protected don’t always overlap.
When departments are setting different controls over the same IT asset, then you have a compliance problem. Although part of the internal audit’s job is to find these problems first, you don’t want to have this problem at all.
Why Are Shared Drives and Spreadsheets So Bad?
When your organization started out, you tried to cut costs so that you could continue to grow. As you grew, your business became more complex. For example, perhaps you were a small organization that initially marketed cloud storage solutions to retail businesses. However, your product is also suitable for healthcare providers. To grow, you need to add HIPAA compliance to your repertoire.
As a regulation (not a standard), HIPAA comes with criminal and civil penalties for noncompliance. This means that you really don’t want to make mistakes.
Shared drives and spreadsheets can lead to compliance problems for a few reasons. First, without the appropriate controls, employees can accidentally or maliciously change information. Second, using shared drives and spreadsheets as your audit trail can lead to multiple versions of information if different internal stakeholders enter information at different times. This kind of inconsistency and lack of access control often lead to problematic audit reports.
Functionally, spreadsheets and shared drives are the used jalopy of the audit management world. They’re great when you’re just starting out because even if they top out at 60MPH, they still work. However, as your organization grows, you need a reliable, state-of-the-art vehicle.
How Automated Audit Management Software Offers You Speed and Value
Increasing the sophistication of your business means adding complexity to your compliance by incorporating new types of audits. For example, you may need to manage your vendors as part of HIPAA compliance while also adding SOC 1 or SOC 2 reporting so you can be someone else’s vendor.
Outgrowing your legacy systems requires purchasing new systems, setting new controls, and documenting your compliance. ZenGRC’s compliance software allows you to map your new controls to your current stance and then offers rapid updates to your compliance program. As the internal audit manager, you no longer have to compare multiple documents to track your program. You can do it with a single click.
ZenGRC’s compliance management software also provides a risk dashboard that gives insight into the effectiveness of your ongoing monitoring so that you can meet internal audit standards.
Moreover, the Vendor Risk Dashboard makes the internal audit risk assessment of vendors easy to manage. You can send pre-written Vendor Assessment Surveys that align with PCI DSS requirements and track responses with just a few clicks of your mouse.
The Ferarri speed of deployment comes with a Honda price point. This means that you don’t have to choose between the Ferrari project management tool and the Ferrari audit management software. Your CEO, CFO, and Board can have both and still have money left in the budget.
For a demo of our speed machine, click here to schedule a demo or contact one of our GRC experts today.