Cangemi Perspectives: How Internal Auditors Drive Business Process Improvement (BPI) Further With Data Analytics

November 5, 2018


Michael P. Cangemi a former CAE, CFO & CEO, is a Senior Fellow and Advisory Board Member of the Rutgers Continuous Auditing and Reporting Lab. The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author.


Recently, a consistent theme has emerged in my extensive writings on internal audit; improving Business Process Improvement (BPI) while enhancing Internal Control (IC). This concept of all company functions focused on the broad company objectives, including maximizing profits, is endorsed by the OCEG in the doctrine of Principled Performance. They label it “The Goal of GRC” and the number one expected outcome of Principled Performance is to, “Achieve Business Objectives” specifically to:  


“Ensure that all parts of the organization work
together toward the achievement of enterprise objectives.”


I believe auditors are overly focused on internal controls and should also target business issues. As an auditor, I have spent my entire career not only working toward audit objectives but also on improving businesses. Finding and delivering value to them was always my mission, and following close behind was my personal rewards (financial and personal satisfaction).


One of the best ways to uncover this value is with technology, specifically data analytics. Consider all the decades of effort to build custom tools into software like CaseWare IDEA that can be deployed with the objective of BPI and enhancing controls. Designed with the sound expertise in the methodologies of assessing risks and controls, data analytics solutions such as IDEA equips audits, finance and business operations with a toolkit that improves the overall business environment.


Indeed, the goal of striving towards the business target as an internal auditor is very wide-ranging, and when I was a CAE, it was considered unusually broad. I built my internal audit charter with this far-reaching objective, and it was so successful that I later built a practice area at BDO called Internal Audit Services. I used the same approach as a CIO, CFO and then even as a CEO. I subsequently published a book about the methodology. Moreover, in every position I’ve held, IT tools allowed me to take this further by enhancing my capability to deliver value.


Since the passage of SOX audit and the rising of GRC costs  – are you implementing more efficient methods that increase coverage at a reduced cost?


Implementing a tech process for BPI brought me to the attention of the management team. No surprise since every aspect of the business needs a tech focus and talent these days. Joining in the company’s mission, while maintaining and an independent attitude can be a major contributor to the company’s success, and yours, too!


About Michael P. Cangemi
Michael P. Cangemi is a senior fellow at Rutgers University and serves on the Rutgers Continuous Auditing and Reporting Lab Advisory Board. A former CFO and CEO, a prolific writer, active speaker and senior advisor to various companies, Mr. Cangemi now focuses on providing continuous auditing, continuous monitoring and analytics intelligence for GRC, Finance and Business Process Improvements. He serves on FEI’s Committee on Finance & Technology (CFIT) and their GRC Sub Committee; the EDPACS Editorial Advisory Board; and the Libra Audit Advisory Board focused on auditing blockchain.  His book Managing the Audit Function 3rd Edition was published by Wiley and has been translated into Chinese and Serbian.