Power Automate RPA programs may also be subject to cyclical or ad hoc privacy, security, or other IT audits. These audits or reviews, if they do not provide a formal opinion, are concerned with validating that the Power Automate RPA program has set sufficient controls and standards, and that the program remains compliant. Audit readiness concerns the organization’s ability to anticipate, shape, and meet the requirements of auditors or reviewers. As the Power Automate RPA initiative evolves from a pilot phase to a program phase, it puts in place various controls as program management, project implementation, and bot operations practices are standardized. Audits during a pilot phase are unlikely, as processes, documentation, and roles are still fluid and not easy for auditors/reviewers to test. A typical Power Automate RPA will likely be limited in terms of time period as well as other characteristics of particular bot projects. For example, the review could encompass projects that began development by the first of day of the fiscal year and were deployed by the last day of the fiscal year for bots that interact with financial systems. The audit or review timeline may be influenced by factors outside the control of the Power Automate RPA program, including the auditor’s contract deliverable commitments and period of performance, as well as other regulations. Auditors usually present a timeline to clarify expectations. Power Automate RPA programs may be able to influence the controls that are tested. Auditors will likely want to understand which controls are testable and how they should be tested, as not all auditors possess experience in Power Automate RPA. Auditors will select a sample of projects or programmatic procedures to review and request supporting data or access to systems where they may find such information to prove the controls have been met. Auditors will provide preliminary findings and generally allow the program to provide additional explanation to justify any deviations from standards. A final report may include findings, recommendations, as well as a formal audit opinion.
Reach out to determine if and what types of audits may include Power Automate RPA in their scope. Make a roadmap determining when the Power Automate RPA program may be taxed with additional audit-related duties during the year. Determine how the program will resource the effort. Make the Power Automate RPA sponsor aware of upcoming audits and how they may impact the Power Automate RPA program, and whether there are any known risks or issues that will likely be surfaced. As the program evolves, policies and processes can change frequently. Gather existing documentation on Power Automate RPA program and project management standards. Update the standards to describe current practices. Note the date of the policy or standard change and which projects may have been subject to different or lesser standards.