Many factors impact your audit process and, consequently, your audit results. Still, the responsibility of ensuring great deliverables lies with your audit team.

There are two characteristics shared among sound, experienced audit teams. Can you guess what those characteristics are?

Consistency and accountability.

We already wrote about why consistency matters here. However, accountability is just as critical. In fact, in the short term, it may be even more important!

On of the ways to promote accountability is through automation in auditing. But first, a bit about why accountability matters so much in the credit union audit environment.

Why Accountability Matters to Credit Union Audit Teams

Here’s what accountability means for credit union audits:

Accountability means that each person knows which items for which they’re responsible. They should know when the item is due, and they should be able to follow through on the faithful completion thereof.

The people taking on these responsibilities must be held accountable to ensure the proper and timely completion of the audit.

Credit union audit teams are made of dedicated experts across multiple departments. Some are full-time audit professionals, and others make time in their schedules to work toward the successful completion of audits.

The fact that there’s a team working toward one common goal is reminiscent of the dreaded group projects of old. Everyone has a role to play. The final result of their efforts is graded by their aggregate product, not by their individual contributions.

It makes sense then, that accountability is critical to the successful completion of audits. The team must trust one another to faithfully perform their portion of duties.

How to Increase Accountability in Audits

One of the easiest ways to increase accountability in audits is to establish structure in the process.

Whoever runs the audit should be able to quickly ascertain several things throughout the audit process. This includes:

  • Which items are in progress
  • Who is working on any given item
  • Which items are due soon
  • What still needs to be done


Having a comprehensive view of an audit’s progress helps keep things on track. If the person managing the audit sees an approaching due date, they can tag the appropriate person to follow through with their responsibilities.

Of course, there are a few ways that credit unions can accomplish this kind of structure:

One way is by developing a robust set of processes to encourage good communication. Another way is to create a strict structure for how to create, share, store, and deliver documents.

The last way, and probably the easiest way, is through automation for auditing.

Audit Automation Software

Automation for auditing doesn’t solve every audit issue out there. In fact, it solves very few issues on its own. However, its value comes in which portions of the audit process that it can automate.

Audits are very manual processes. They require hours of manual input, and then countless additional hours of communication, coordination, management, building and audit trail, and more.

A significant portion of those processes can be streamlined through automation. For auditing structure, an automation platform can also give managers and team members a comprehensive view of progress. A simple automation and audit management platform facilitates:

  • Tracking due dates
  • Knowing who is doing what
  • Building a robust audit trail
  • Speedy communication
  • Review and delivery
  • Follow up
  • Archival and storage


Humans are pretty good at organizing things. Auditors and audit teams in particular frequently demonstrate a knack for structure. However, few humans—aside from Marie Kondo—can optimize and create structure the way that a computer can.

For that reason, automation for auditing is a key component of completing audits in 10–25% less time. While audit automation software can’t perform your audit for you, it can reduce or eliminate many of the extensive or time-consuming manual input.

(We actually wrote a blog about some of the processes addressed by audit automation software!)

In this way, automation for audits drastically increases accountability in audits. Each team member can trust that their audit software platform will keep due dates, responsibilities, and file management in line.

Further Reading for Credit Unions

We try to deliver useful information, tips, tricks, and resources about audits for credit unions. Follow the links below to see a few sources for NCUA examinations.

Or if you have an upcoming audit, check out our credit union audit checklist to make sure that you and your team are ready!

HOW THE NCUA AIRES QUESTIONNAIRES CAN HELP YOUR CREDIT UNION PREPARE FOR YOUR NEXT REGULATORY EXAMINATION

THE HIDDEN RISKS IN CREDIT UNION REGULATORY EXAMINATIONS — AND HOW TO AVOID THEM