When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Deloitte’s investments in their Audit & Assurance business’ digital transformation—spanning more than a decade—were realized as they seamlessly adapted to delivering the same high-quality audits that they are known for, now virtually.
The NiSource, Inc., audit engagement team took an agile approach during the transition to a remote working environment by leveraging well-practiced project management, clearly defined processes, and leading-edge technology capabilities, including:
- Communication and collaboration tools. The team adeptly transitioned from daily onsite meetings with NiSource to daily video conferencing calls. To plan and execute the engagement, including the controls walkthrough, they took advantage of the full suite of capabilities from sharing videos to screenshares. Video conferencing was also leveraged internally among the Deloitte team to simulate the buzz and bustle of being in an audit room and enable professionals to connect virtually in an open forum to ask questions and share information. The team also held daily video conferencing calls to discuss audit progress.
Deloitte’s secure online collaboration site provided drill-down status dashboards and streamlined information requests. Deliverables were readily accessible for all members of the team while working virtually from their homes around the world.
- Deloitte’s Audit Committee Lab. Facing an Audit Committee (AC) Chair transition in the midst of a global pandemic, the Deloitte team turned to the transformative power of Deloitte’s Audit Committee Lab experience to help the new AC Chair transition into his new role as he developed a strategic vision and actionable plan to lead his committee. While this lab would traditionally have been held in person, the Deloitte team pivoted to a virtual approach anchored in delivering value and relationship-building. An advance care package of snacks, custom playlist for music during breaks, and interactive use of video conferencing tools livened up the experience and helped create a safe environment to candidly discuss the transition.
- Cloud and capabilities. Deloitte Audit & Assurance professionals have been on a journey to digitize the audit. Omnia, Deloitte’s cloud-based global audit platform, brings bright minds, flexible methods, and world-class audit technology to deliver a more focused audit experience. During COVID-19, Deloitte Omnia was rolled out to the engagement team, so that NiSource could continue reaping the benefits of a digital audit experience that improves audit quality and uncovers insights about the business.
Within Deloitte Omnia, several capabilities have contributed to the team’s success, including filing and disclosure examples and a financial statement tie-out tool that inspired NiSource to digitize their own tie-out process.
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