Continuous Monitoring and Auditing – A Growing Automation Trend in Internal Audit

Continuous monitoring and auditing are automated feedback tools used to monitor processes, transactions, IT systems and controls on a frequent or continuous basis.  These methodologies assist in detecting inconsistent practices, outliers, anomalies and other factors that could negatively affect a business.

Continuous monitoring allows management to consistently review their business processes and procedures for adherence to, or deviation from, expected levels of performance.  This enables management to determine where it should be focusing attention and resources to improve processes, address risks, implement corrective actions or launch initiatives to better facilitate the achievement of business goals.

Continuous auditing allows Internal Audit to repeatedly gather data from processes, transactions and accounts that support auditing activities.  This enables Internal Audit to determine more accurately where to focus attention and resources to improve the quality of audits and increase support from management.  It is not intended to replace traditional auditing, but rather to be used as a tool in implementing standard procedures that will enhance audit methodologies and overall effectiveness.

Examples of continuous monitoring and auditing include:

  • Monitoring of access to sensitive data
  • Review of deposit and loan activity for missing information or unusual activity outside of company policy and limits
  • Monitoring of pricing overrides or customer discounts
  • Review of transaction logs for unusual or suspicious activity (security logs, journal entry logs, etc.)
  • Review of payroll, P-card and travel and entertainment transactions for outliers
  • Monitoring of overrides to key company metrics that may drive operational performance and/or regulatory reporting

Continuous monitoring and auditing can enable an organization to adapt more quickly and effectively to changes in the regulatory and risk environment.  In implementing these processes, management and Internal Audit will gain greater visibility into the organization by obtaining and analyzing up-to-date information, increasing the scope of audit coverage and detecting errors before financial impact is realized.  Continuous monitoring and auditing assist in providing assurance over processes that are high in value or risk and allow for flexibility in an ever-changing regulatory environment.

You’ve heard our thoughts… We’d like to hear yours

The Schneider Downs Our Thoughts On blog exists to create a dialogue on issues that are important to organizations and individuals. While we enjoy sharing our ideas and insights, we’re especially interested in what you may have to say. If you have a question or a comment about this article – or any article from the Our Thoughts On blog – we hope you’ll share it with us. After all, a dialogue is an exchange of ideas, and we’d like to hear from you. Email us at

Material discussed is meant for informational purposes only, and it is not to be construed as investment, tax, or legal advice. Please note that individual situations can vary. Therefore, this information should be relied upon when coordinated with individual professional advice.

© 2020 Schneider Downs. All rights-reserved. All content on this site is property of Schneider Downs unless otherwise noted and should not be used without written permission.

our thoughts on

SOC for Supply Chains
Charges Filed Against First American Title Insurance Company For Cybersecurity Lapse
Do Managed Service Providers Need a SOC Report?
Do Relocation Companies Require a SOC (System and Organization Controls) Report?
What has COVID-19 taught us about our businesses processes?
Risks to Consider When Reopening Your Branches

Register to receive our weekly newsletter with our most recent columns and insights.

Have a question? Ask us!

We’d love to hear from you. Drop us a note, and we’ll respond to you as quickly as possible.

Ask us

contact us

Map of Pittsburgh Office

One PPG Place, Suite 1700
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
p:412.261.3644     f:412.261.4876

Map of Columbus Office

65 East State Street, Suite 2000
Columbus, OH 43215
p:614.621.4060     f:614.621.4062

Map of Washington Office
Washington, D.C.

1660 International Drive, Suite 600
McLean, VA 22102