The COVID-19 crisis has changed regular exam, external, and internal audit operations. And, as with any period of upheaval and change, communication is key. In fact, this communication will be key to ensuring that your supervisory committee understands what your audit team is doing, how they’re doing it, and what they can expect.


Being proactive about strategies, difficulties, and more will ensure that your risk remains minimal. It will also show your supervisory committee that your team is still contributing value to the organization.

Here’s what your audit team should be telling your committee.

1. Expect Changes Due to the Pandemic

Sometimes, you must state the obvious. It’s too easy to assume that committees will know that things are different. However, leaving things up to assumptions isn’t a particularly effective risk mitigation strategy.

Most credit union regulatory bodies have indicated some level of changes to how they will evaluate audits and exams during COVID-19. Many regularly scheduled audits and activities have even been put on hold for a while.

This is a good opportunity to discuss what kinds of changes should be made—and why. It may also present the chance to suggest improvements, workarounds, or new strategies and items.

2. Changes May Be Ongoing

Just as news, updates, and guidance about the pandemic and other events are continually updating, so should be your audit plan. Remind your supervisory committee that you will continue to assess new risks and issues as they emerge.

This level of proactive involvement will put your committee at ease. Moreover, keeping them informed about new risk areas will bring new confidence to your audit process during a time in which confidence may be a rare commodity.

3. Auditors Will Perform Remote Work

Actually, that title should read, “auditors will perform remote work well.” In the year of 2020, credit unions have the technology to support seamless remote work operations. What might have been a major obstacle in the past is now merely a minor inconvenience. (Or, for some, a luxury.)

Let your committee know that your audit team has adapted to a remote environment. You’ll still preform duties as normal, and you’ll find workarounds for things that may be unsafe in person.

Also let them know if you use new technology (such as Redboard 10) or reassess your priorities to accommodate remote work.

4. Quality Will Not Be an Issue

If the three previous points didn’t drive it home, this one should. Again, there’s no room for assumption in audit and risk management circles.

Be up front about what you expect to see from your audit activity. Let the committee know that you still intend to meet your quality standards, and that accuracy, thoroughness, and other positive qualities will be unaffected by the pandemic.

5. Expect Changes to Last

When this all started, many of us thought that perhaps we wouldn’t be affected at all. Later, we hoped that it would be temporary. However, the consensus of many scientists and medical researchers suggests that we’re not even halfway through.

Prepare your supervisory committee for a “new normal” that lasts well into 2021. And, if our conversations with credit union internal audit departments are any indication, some of the changes we’ve seen may be here to stay.

Prepare your committee for ongoing risks including COVID-19 safety, supply chain disruptions, cybersecurity and fraud issues, business continuity, global financial disruption, and potential losses.

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Final Thoughts

Redboard is an easy credit union audit management platform. It streamlines offsite and onsite strategies alike. Plus, its powerful automation capabilities and intuitive UX simplify tedious planning, tracking, and follow-up tasks. Our customers have reported audit and exam time savings of anywhere from 15–50%.

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