Why IT auditing can be as important as accounting auditing

     

Many businesses operate in industries that are heavily regulated by governing bodies or international laws, such as healthcare, finance and agriculture. The constantly evolving standards these companies are held to influence their operation standards, as well as what technologies they adopt to ensure compliance and enhance business operations.

Lawmakers and legislators are passing new bills regularly, with different standards at global, federal and state levels; keeping up with proper security and law compliance is a job in itself. Having software that updates in regards to changes in laws helps a company to meet regulatory standards; simplifying compliance process and helping to ward off costly fines, delays or damage to your professional reputation.

Tech Target points out that many business models are utilizing a haphazard system for ensuring compliance with regulations. Rather than deploying internal audits that offer strategic value to the business model, some companies are opting for a strict compliance test and then still run into tech-related problems down the road.

Working with the right software and IT services partner, however, will help to ensure compliance is achieved across the company. While regulatory requirements are in place to guide businesses on the appropriate way to function, they don’t regulate every aspect that should be optimized by your business. Having your IT and software systems audited can help you understand and implement the minimums needed for compliance, as well as what other functionality will help set a company apart from competitors and keep operations ahead of the curve.

Personalized audit services
accounting, it auditsYour company probably does regular audits in the accounting department to catch mistakes in the books that could cause issues later on. Financial data in your company is very sensitive, and accuracy is crucial. However, you should think of your IT services data as just as valuable to your overall success.

Companies can benefit greatly from external IT audits, particularly when new regulations have been implemented and compliance is mandated. Consultants can come to the business and review its computers, servers, networks, processes and architecture to see what is functioning properly, where weaknesses lie and how to optimize the solutions in place.

It’s important for networks and solutions to operate properly and be in compliance with regulations, but it’s equally as important for technologies to offer a high return on investment. IT audits review technologies to ensure both gains are being enjoyed by companies, including:

  • Hardware evaluations to see they are operating properly
  • Network architecture analysis and recommendations for upgrades
  • Interconnectivity and communication channel checkups to determine how easily information is transferred between users
  • Protocol implementation review to ensure nothing was deployed erroneously

IT auditors will break down a company's technology systems for review, and then look more closely at certain components that are underperforming, causing problems or can be upgraded. All technologies are analyzed for safety and efficiency, making sure data is secure and being properly utilized throughout the business model.

From there, auditors can draft a report to outline the findings and present recommendations based on their expert opinions. While a well-functioning company may not see the immediate benefits of an IT audit, avoiding compliance issues or other disruptions down the road can make a formal review well worth the investment.

Audit yourself

In an interview with Smart Business, Brouse McDowell, intellectual property attorney, discussed the many ways technology can lead to compliance concerns or impromptu audits that catch businesses off guard. Rather than adopting new technology and hoping all operations are meeting regulatory requirements, companies should proactively perform self-imposed audits to fix the problems before they result in fines or other setbacks.

If a company chooses to not perform an internal audit with the guidance of external consultants, a small slip or glitch can trigger a formal audit and underlying issues will be brought to the surface. Giving your company the professional support to adjust to market and regulatory changes, rather than hoping for the best with each new technology upgrade will lessen the learning curve and avoid future legal issues.

To learn more about how you can optimize your business through IT services auditing, please click below to get in contact with one of our experts.