Diligent Q&A – Adam Bailey on innovations in audit

Julia Hanbury

We recently sat down with Adam Bailey, Senior Vice President and Global Head of Product at Diligent, to discuss how the role of internal audit has changed and how the latest audit & analytics solutions and tools from Diligent, including Board Reporting for Audit, Activity Center and Assessments App, are helping audit functions operate more effectively and quickly.

Tell us about your role at Diligent.

As SVP and Global Head of Product, I’m responsible for driving Diligent’s product strategy, product management and user experience. It’s a rewarding role because organizations today are expected to innovate and disrupt at an accelerated pace and do more with less resources. Consequently, we are challenged to innovate and adapt our solution suite just as quickly to meet our customers’ evolving needs. It’s never boring, and I’m very proud of the latest tools and solutions our team has launched to help our customers address pain points and get ahead of risks and opportunities.

Speaking of launches, tell us about one of the latest tools from Diligent — Board Reporting for Audit.

This is one that I’m really passionate about. I would say the role of the internal auditor has changed more drastically in recent years than almost any other in the GRC space. Internal audit teams are being asked to provide greater assurance over more categories of risk than ever before — like climate, technology, financial, compliance and strategic risk. They must move from reactive hindsight practices to proactively providing a more complete, accurate and actionable picture of risk for their leadership teams and the audit committee.

Board Reporting for Audit makes data collection more efficient, so internal audit teams can share important insights directly with the audit committee and board, elevating their understanding of key risks and opportunities and positioning audit as a leading voice in shaping the organization's strategy.

It does this by consolidating internal audit data into one straightforward dashboard, including audit plan and control testing progress, open high and critical issues and key performance metrics year over year, identifying trends or patterns that help leadership understand the underlying factors driving performance, thus making more informed decisions.

What is unique about the technology behind Board Reporting for Audit?

The dashboard is powered Diligent’s HighBond Activity Center. Think of it as the mother ship of audit reporting. Activity Center gives internal audit teams the ability to consolidate their GRC data into one single dashboard. All your data will be updated hourly, allowing teams to create dashboards that are ready to be shared with your board or executive team. It’s all customizable based on an organization’s needs. Then, the dashboards can be surfaced through Diligent Boards for the board to view securely and seamlessly.

How have organizations’ audit functions evolved in recent years?

Many organizations today have hundreds of thousands of controls — and there is just no way that Internal Audit and Controls teams can provide that much coverage. So, you’re seeing some of this work being pushed out to the business owners, which means that management (first and second line roles) is getting more involved in internal controls and audit.

GRC software implementations often fail when you can't get the first-line business users on board with using the tool. As a result, we hear from our customers that it is increasingly valuable to have a tool that can get business owners out of manual spreadsheets, catered to the non-frequent user who still needs to execute core risk and control work but is less motivated to learn a more complex or new workflow.

Our Assessments App does exactly this. It gives the non-technical business user the ability to easily view their organization’s risks and controls in a single place, and complete pending tasks, enabling a broader business engagement with key risks and controls.

What are you looking forward to from Diligent?

There are more exciting solution innovations to come that will give boards of directors clear and consistent insights, while improving and streamlining reporting efforts. I’m also really looking forward to connecting with our customers at this year’s Modern Governance Summit in September – we have some really exciting new stuff to share with them and I can’t wait for them to see it!

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Julia Hanbury
Julia Hanbury, Senior Marketing Communications Manager at Diligent, has several years of expertise in the B2B SaaS sector. She specializes in technology and product innovation and has done significant work in how software is helping organizations stay ahead of risks and opportunities.