How Internal Audit at Lowe’s Takes on High-Visibility Audit Projects

How Internal Audit at Lowe’s Takes on High-Visibility Audit Projects

How does the internal audit team at Lowe’s approach high-visibility audits and auditing new areas of the business? Find out in this edition of our AuditTalk video series, which features leaders in the audit community discussing their perspectives on current issues, sharing their experiences, and offering insights on industry trends.

Internal audit at Lowe’s Companies has undertaken a range of new and exciting value-add projects this past year. Eric Groen, Managing Director at Protiviti sat down with Robert Johnson, Corporate Audit Manager at Lowe’s, and Maisie Leftwich, Internal Audit Manager at Lowe’s, for a conversation about recent audit successes at Lowe’s — from leading a recruiting boom and implementing AuditBoard’s platform, to continuing to build relationships with the business as they take on high-visibility internal audit projects. Watch the video below to learn the whole story!

Robert Johnson and Maisie Leftwich of Lowe’s share how they approach high-visibility audit projects in new areas such as diversity and inclusion initiatives.

“We just concluded a pretty exciting audit,” said Maisie Leftwich. “We got pulled onto a task force that came out of some of the margin opportunity we experienced in Q1, and were asked in six weeks to do a deep dive review and learn everything we could about vendor cost increases and cost management related to some of the tariffs coming through.” This high-visibility project gave Lowe’s internal audit the opportunity to be a trusted advisor and present their summary of the control environment and opportunities for improvement around cost mitigation to the CFO and all of merchandising leadership.

A catalyzing success for the internal audit team was implementing AuditBoard to replace their previous audit solution, which had limitations that led the team to use it as a basic document repository. The team not only found the web-based, user-friendly solution they were looking for in AuditBoard, but they also were able to implement the platform quickly — leveraging AuditBoard to help manage their audit projects and make valuable data-driven recommendations to the business. “We’re definitely excited about some of the new tools and features that are being rolled out from AuditBoard, and we’re excited to be the folks that are pioneers using this tool going forward,” said Robert Johnson. With the time-savings afforded by using AuditBoard, they’ll have the hours and resources to take on even more projects that drive organizational value. 

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Internal audit at Lowe’s has long used their Quarterly Risk Assessment (QRA) process as a way to open lines of communication with the business, which can lead to opportunities to audit strategic initiatives. One key conversation that came out of a recent QRA was around auditing culture, and internal audit has since taken on a role supporting Lowe’s efforts with diversity and inclusion. This is the kind of engaging and challenging project the audit team prides themselves on going after — one that goes beyond check-the-box auditing, and requires critical thinking to learn how to audit a new area like organizational culture. 

Stay tuned for more AuditTalk video interviews with audit community leaders about industry issues, insights, and experiences!