Audit Function Expected to Grow
May 23, 2013 by Newsfeed Editor
An item this week in Supermarket News reported that 42 percent of retail companies expect to increase the size of their internal audit functions over the next five years. This was one of the findings in the Food Retailing and Wholesaling Internal Audit Study by Food Marketing Institute (FMI). The increase is predicted due to the expanding roles played by information technology, retail operations and the supply chain.
The report surveyed 31 supermarket companies comprised of a total of 24,688 stores and 981 internal audit professionals. These professionals say that more oversight and analysis will be needed to maintain effectiveness and efficiency of operations, reliability of financial reporting, compliance with laws and regulation and safeguarding of assets.
For members of World Alliance for Retail Excellence & Standards, this news is seen as a positive step and validation of the importance of shelf and shopper marketing data. These companies provide at-retail merchandising and marketing services such as field shelf audits, mystery shops and other store level data collection in all channels of retail, all over the world, everyday.
Retailers and manufacturers go to great lengths to develop and bring products and promotions to market. Combine that with the demands of providing a great shopper experience and the need to have a truly omni-channel presence, and you get a convergence in the need to have a greater ability to audit store-level compliance.
Sales data and technology can provide some of the information, but much more can be gathered by experienced and trained retail representatives who can make observations, use advanced mobile devices and reporting systems, and in some cases take corrective action on the spot. As the audit machine gets bigger and more influential, it will only be as good as the data that gets fed into it. The members of World Alliance are here and well prepared to feed the need.