How SWAP Takes an Agile Approach to Audit

How SWAP Takes an Agile Approach to Audit

In our Spotlight on Success series, David Hill, CEO of SWAP Internal Audit Services, shares how his forward-thinking audit team positions for the future by adopting agile ways of working enabled by technology. SWAP Internal Audit Services is a UK-based not for profit internal audit partnership dedicated to improving the efficiency and productivity of public sector organizations and helping them manage their risks. Hear how SWAP selected AuditBoard to support them in their trusted advisor role by:

  • Leveraging AuditBoard’s OpsAudit solution to support agile methodologies.
  • Introducing a one-page report and using AuditBoard’s dashboard reporting to provide audit results quickly and get mitigation plans in place.
  • Maximizing audit’s budget by investing in capacity multipliers including efficiencies, technology, and strategic staffing.
David Hill of SWAP shares how his team implemented agile ways of working to gain significant efficiencies.

Tell us a little about SWAP, and how technology fits into your vision for an agile audit team. 

“I’m the Chief Executive Officer of SWAP Internal Audit Services. We’re primarily based in the UK, and we serve public sector bodies effectively across the whole of the UK. We perform risk-based internal audits, counter fraud services, technology audits, data analytics — any service really that supports good governance.”

“We’ve always had an audit management system since I started SWAP some 15 years ago, but when I became CEO three years ago, as a team we knew we had to change the way we were doing things. We were using a traditional waterfall model, and we decided we needed to move to a more agile model to be trusted advisors. We looked at probably 11 suppliers, whittled them to 3, and we brought the team in at that stage. The team was really sold on AuditBoard in terms of user experience.” 

Tell us about your agile approach to reporting, and how AuditBoard supports you in communicating results quickly. 

We were the first in the UK to produce what we call a one-page audit report, and we knew that we quickly wanted to move from one-page audit reports to dashboard reporting. That’s clearly something we can do using AuditBoard’s solution.”

“Before we introduced the one-page report, we had lengthy internal audit reports that took an age to clear — which meant we were not mitigating exposure to the risk in a timely manner. With AuditBoard, we can very quickly and in an agile way communicate our results and get mitigation in place. That to me is a really important thing.”

What role do you see technology playing in SWAP’s efforts to increase efficiencies?

“As a general comment across the internal audit service in the UK, every audit team needs to strive to be more efficient and to do more with less — internal audit is no different from any other service that has to make efficiencies. We have to use technology solutions to improve what we do. It’s about the use of capacity multipliers: having more efficient processes, using technological solutions, and strategic staffing solutions. 

The audit financial budget must be used efficiently, and that doesn’t always mean that auditors are the only solution. Looking ahead, we’ll be using that three-part mix — efficiencies, technology, and strategic staffing — and AuditBoard is going to assist us in moving that forward.”