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16 March 2016

Not getting all you want from your audit management system? Here are 3 reasons why you should consider a change...

By Dominika Jankowska
So, you've purchased a new audit management system that you hope will revolutionise your internal audit; increasing efficiencies and productivity while cutting time spent on paperwork.

It all sounds great - almost too good to be true - but when it comes to the system actually delivering on those hopes of yours, it's a whole different story.

Internal audit today is more than compliance and box-ticking. As internal audit faces new challenges in today’s rapidly changing times, it needs (more than ever!) to understand its role, prioritise its efforts, and operate from its core strengths.

Latest reports and thought leadership papers by the IIA’s CBOK and GRC 20/20 have discussed how technologies can greatly increase efficiencies and productivity of internal audit staff and help them maximise their efforts. In our article, “21st Century Auditing Needs to Embrace Technology”, we also discuss the importance of technologies and benefits they bring to internal audit today.

Ideagen has built Pentana to deliver on these aims through:

  • Collaborative working as a core design objective
  • Robust and easy to use offline working
  • Cutting edge technology

Collaborative working as a core design objective

In Pentana, collaborative working has been designed as a key feature that also ensures nobody loses their work.

When working in Pentana if a person is in the middle of updating an individual record (such as a control or test) that individual record is locked as a 'view only' for other users.

Record locking is essential in order to avoid overwriting someone else’s data without knowing the content.

Audit management software is known to use several different methodologies for collaborative and offline working:

  1. Conflict management – copies of an audit may be replicated on different machines, so multiple people can use them at once. The different copies are then synchronised with the master and where there are conflicts between updates by different users, they are displayed and the user asked to decide which version to use.

Risk: The issue with this method is that it may take significant auditor time to resolve the conflicts, as well as processing time to compare each record to the master.

  1. Update queuing – each update on individual machines is held in a message queue and then applied to the main database when a connection is made.

Risk: Whilst this avoids the time taken to resolve conflicts it also creates a danger that data may be overwritten, since the last person to upload their changes will overwrite any other changes in between.

  1. Record locking – Pentana uses record locking method so that only one person has update access to a record at a time and that no data can be overwritten without it appearing in an audit trail.
Benefit: Other users can view the record, but they cannot update it while someone else is working on that record - meaning nobody loses out.
audit_Management infographic.png

Robust and easy to use offline working

Pentana supports the ability for users to ‘check out’ parts or all of an audit to their local PC, work offline and subsequently check in their changes.

The user may decide whether to check out the entire audit, just the parts of the audit where he/she has been assigned as the ‘Owner’ or to select individual Work Plans and Objectives. The user may also select individual Steps and Tests to check out, and get read-only copies of other items.

Checked-out items automatically become read only to other users, thereby avoiding any risk of conflicts.

Where multiple people are working on the same audit then they can each check out the parts of the audit that are assigned to them.

In Pentana, users don’t need to worry about versions, files or databases. The application seamlessly takes care of everything behind the scenes as one would expect with any enterprise grade software.

Once a user has finished working offline they can simply select “check in” when connected back to the network. Pentana will handle all the updating required and automatically remove any downloaded items from the computer. If the user isn’t ready to check their work back in they can choose the sync option. The sync option updates Pentana with all the changes for everyone to see back at the office.

Cutting edge technology

Pentana uses the latest Microsoft technologies to offer internal audit departments around the world the best the software experience possible.

Global accessibility

Pentana is optimised for global accessibility and performance. As a Smart Client application that uses a web service, it is accessible over slower WAN connections where necessary.

Development Platform

Pentana is built upon some of the latest Microsoft technologies: the application is written in .NET and incorporates Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) and Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) technologies for industry standard, robust and secure communications.

Ease of Deployment

With ClickOnce, installing a Windows application is as simple as clicking a link on a web page. Deploying or updating an application is simply a matter of updating files on a server with no need to individually touch every computer.

Multi-Lingual support and Double Byte Character Sets

Pentana supports multi-languages where each user can be configured with an individual language pack, including double-byte character sets. Most of the common terminology can be modified by Administrators within the system.

MS Office Integration

As Pentana is built upon some of the latest Microsoft technologies, a high level of integration is offered with Microsoft Office applications.

Files can be dragged from a user’s PC and dropped onto a record, a test for example, for quick upload and attachment. This drag-and-drop functionality is also extended to Outlook: users can drag emails straight from their Outlook client or drag attachments into the application directly from emails without ever having to save the file to their PC.

Integration with 3rd party applications

Our architecture for Pentana makes integration straightforward.

Use audit management software that actually delivers on its promises.

To learn how Pentana can assist you with achieving your organisation’s objectives, request your free personal demo here
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