Internal vs. co-source, centralization vs. decentralization, hierarchical vs. flat management…these arguments and comparisons are constantly being made by executives, professors and ivory tower strategy types. Each one of these business approaches seems to go in and out of “fashion” every few years. There is no blanket right answer. There is only the answer that is right for “your company.”
For the sake of brevity, we can simply boil it down to this…the decision to use co-source auditors is not a cost thing…it’s a success thing. If you need to drive an outcome and ensure success without creating internal havoc, then co-source is your best bet. If you have a stable and mature process and have skilled internal resources, then internal is your best bet.
The trap that many Heads of Internal Audit and CFOs fall into, is becoming dogmatic and rigid in their thinking. Very often companies find success in blending the two and going back and forth between the two as challenges present themselves. Its often tragic to watch someone fail because of some misguided notion of “sticking to a decision.”
At any rate, lets dive into the details…here are top 10 reasons for co-sourcing internal audit:
1) Seasoned co-source auditors know how to prevent failure.
The barriers to a successful project are many. Whether you need to get control documents together or do full load testing there are a certain number of things that need to get done within a certain time frame. Co-sourced auditors know the barriers to success at every point and have the tools and resources to help you overcome those barriers quickly. If they don’t their reputation and their business are on the line.
2) Many internal teams are already overextended.
Many organizations simply do not have the internal resources to cover all of the audit and compliance challenges that need to be met. They are already stretched beyond capacity, with many team members wearing multiple hats. Co-source can work faster because they are only concerned with your project.
3) Co-source auditors do not require training like new internal hires.
Some companies attempt to handle the workload by hiring full-time employees. This strategy is costly in more ways than one. First, a business must spend valuable time and money on the hiring process. Second, the new hire(s) must be trained and brought up to speed, which chews up additional time and resources. Co-source auditors already possess the training and experience required. Moreover, you only pay them for services rendered, enabling you to save money and optimize time.
4) Co-source auditors typically have a keen awareness of project risks.
Failure to identify potential risks and take measures to mitigate them can disrupt or completely sink a project. While internal teams may lack experience in these areas, Co-source auditors are typically masters of risk mitigation. Their past successes provide a solid foundation for executing a successful project.
6) Co-source auditors have the latest project management tools.
Co-source auditors are not constrained by Corporate IT departments in terms of the software tools they can select and use. Hence their tools tend to be cutting edge and state of the art. Your company benefits from having these tools at your disposal at no additional cost.
7) Co-source auditors often have valuable information on the compliance landscape
As a result of their experience working with a wide variety of companies, co-source auditors have an inside track on the latest trends and developments. They regularly attend trade shows, industry meetings, and events where leading thinkers share the latest regulatory and compliance developments. They may also be able to share the best tools and templates with you.
8) Accomplished co-source auditors bring you peace of mind during a chaotic time.
Experienced co-source auditors can instill confidence among management who are anxious during a crisis. They foster confidence by bringing tried and true traditional approaches that always hold water and never go out of “style.”
Choosing the Best Co source Auditor for You
Clearly, co-source auditors can complement the work of your internal team. They can also bring valuable information to the table. However, not all co-source auditors are created equal. As you evaluate potential partners, be sure to select a one that exudes both precision and passion. Additionally, you should choose a co-source auditor with the following traits:
- Works with the best software and tools available
- Big 4 talent…but not Big 4 prices
- Experience in getting things done efficiently
- Unparalleled accessibility and support
By enlisting the support of a trusted co-source auditor, you can enjoy the peace of mind that comes along with knowing your projects are being helped by an expert.