Why Agile Auditing?
There comes a time in every field of endeavour, where current ways of working are refined to a point of diminishing returns. As Chris Spedding, director of change at Barclays Internal Audit put it “The way we conduct audits hasn’t changed much in the past 20 years“1.
Sometimes, industries benefit from a new way of working. Sometimes, we need to make a change but, the change that’s needed isn’t just more refinement. To quote Oren Harari, “The electric light did not come from the continuous improvement of candles”
However, new ways of working are disruptive and we want to be as sure as we can be that the change is worthwhile. One entity that has been down this road already is Barclays Internal Audit (BIA). After two years of an agile transformation, Nick Curle, their head of strategy and change states unequivocally: “Is agile auditing relevant to internal audit? The answer is YES!“1
There are many reasons for this categorical statement but perhaps the most compelling is this: “… audits are now completed faster and more efficiently – on average … ten to 20 per cent faster”1
To put this into context, BIA saves up to £6.5M a year2. The cost outlay for external agile coaches to lead the transformation? Less than 15% of this saving.
Lloyds Banking Group had a similar experience. Aman Hayer of their Group Internal Audit said “Increased collaboration and joint commitment lead to 30% faster completion than our traditional auditing approach”3
But cost savings are just one potential benefit. An agile transformation runs much deeper than that. Nick Curle again: “The critical factor is that becoming agile … is about mindset and behaviour.“1.
We’ve noted happier auditors, happier audit leads and better audit outcomes. As one auditor at Nationwide Building Society put it “Please don’t take agile away!“3
This is the tip of the iceberg though, because we see better business engagement, happier stakeholders and, crucially, same high-level assurance for the bank.
Why Agile In Audit Ltd?
In a word, experience. Agile In Audit Ltd is directed by one of the external agile coaching team that helped Barclays Internal Audit to achieve the results stated above. We are the only agile consultancy established for the auditing sector, and with experience of the agile auditing sector.
To quote Chris Spedding regarding BIA’s transformation: “Most of what we did in the first year would not be necessary for others in the sector to repeat.“1
Agile In Audit bring that experience with them on every engagement, saving clients time and money and catapulting their transformation forward.
Another benefit of working with Agile In Audit is our approach to engaging with clients. We don’t operate a “bums on seats” model as we’ve found that to be counter-productive. Sometimes, clients need space to try things on their own. Other times, they need close support. We flex to meet those needs. While we can, and do, propose engagement models, we’ll always be guided by your preferences.
To date, we are fortunate to count Barclays, HSBC, Morgan Stanley and Deutsche Bank amongst our clientele as well as some companies in the Insurance sector. In short, the more we discuss the world of audit with internal and external auditors, and with financial sector and non-financial sector auditors, the more we see the similarities. All audit functions can benefit from agility and we look forward to helping you gain those benefits.
Agile In Audit is directed by Derek Davidson who has over two decades of experience of agility and has broad experience in a number of agile approaches.
Derek is a Certified Scrum Trainer with the Scrum Alliance and a Professional Scrum Trainer (PST) with scrum.org. He is the first (and currently only) dual licenced Scrum trainer in Europe. He has also passed the world’s hardest scrum assessment, PSM III.
With regard to coaching, Derek is qualified as an ICAgile Certified Professional in Agile Coaching. His other qualifications include:
- Professional Scrum Master Level III
- Professional Scrum Master Level II
- Professional Scrum Master Level I
- Professional Scrum Product Owner Level II
- Professional Scrum Product Owner Level I
- Scaled Professional Scrum
- Professional Scrum Developer Level I
- Professional Scrum with Kanban Level I
- IC-Agile Professional Agile Coach
- Certified Scrum Professional
- Certified ScrumMaster
- Certified Scrum Product Owner
Agile Coach Associates
Agile In Audit work with a number of associates worldwide. All of our associates are vetted by us and have worked directly with us.
Should you have any questions about agile auditing, get in touch.
1. Quotes taken from an article in Audit & Risk Magazine titled Scrum formation: How Barclays Internal Audit Became Agile
2. A simplified extrapolation based on 10-20% of staffing (650) at an average overhead cost of £50k
3. Quote from presentations by Ellie Taylor, Nationwide Building Society and Aman Hayer, Lloyds Banking Group at Agile In Audit Meetups