Digitalisation in Audit - Make or Buy?

20 December 2016

Digitalization in Audit like any other business in the enterprise is perhaps a forgone conclusion by now. If not for Audits, this holds good for any other business that is a Profit centre. Why Audit cannot be a profit centre? A unit that is capable of identifying the risks and helping close the vulnerabilities and thereby effectively stopping revenue leakage, financial and reputational loss or possible frauds is definitely adding to the bottom-line by doing so, if not directly; indirectly. Therefore, Digitalization of Audit also needs to become imperative. Once the decision to Digitalize is taken (Which is the starting point), it is usually followed by a question Make or Buy?

Make

Why this question? Most Enterprises to-day have a good IT team; who are capable and are building the core solution which forms the base of the business that the enterprise runs. Those who do not have large IT teams believe in custom made solutions so that it meets the requirements completely. This is what we have been doing for a long time now; for various reasons, viz availability of the required technology outside, ability of the available solutions to match the requirements, compatibility with existing applications, willingness and ease of customisation and so on… Having said that "make" could be a time taking process and would prove costly considering the high level of involvement of senior resources who would be involved in conceptualising, defining and designing the business side of the process.

Buy

The times are fast changing and so is the technology. Today, there are multiple solutions available in the market for different business needs; almost all! It is not how it was a few years back. What could be the advantage of buying compared to that of making a Technology solution?

Buying makes sense, as the experience and expertise that the enterprise normally has is in the core business and in some cases in the core technology. Time and effort from key resources are precious and should be spend in "Core" Business.

What to look for, when buying?

There are a host of elements to look for, on the business requirement side and that varies from enterprise to enterprise and business to business. We would look at some general aspects rather questions while evaluating a Solution Provider. If answer to all or most of the questions are "Yes" then the choice becomes more and more obvious.

It does not surprise anyone to-day when they see even large and highly regulated Industries prefer buying technology solutions. Yes! It is indeed a wise decision to buy as there is a barrage of options of late, for any business case. It is indeed a wise decision to make, but with all your wise!