Is The Audit Library the Netflix of the Internal Audit World?

Lately, many of us have been spending a lot more time at home. And for me, that means I spend more time doing two things: working and watching TV. As a millennial (and no, I don’t always love being lumped into that group), I was one of the early adopters to “cutting the cord” when it comes to watching cable. This leaves me several streaming options to choose from. Like most streaming users, I toggle between the several apps I subscribe to, but my go to service is Netflix.

In addition to my experience using Netflix, I’ve also read a lot about how Netflix got their start and their strategy for growth. All of this research got me thinking about how The Audit Library is both similar to and different from Netflix. We are both subscriber model businesses, and we both have devoted users. Netflix is one of the companies Olivia and I admire most, but there are some stark differences in our two business models as well.

Does The Audit Library make decisions for our subscribers? Do we have the same strategy for growth? Does The Audit Library have a better track record for customer service than Netflix? Keep reading to find out some of my thoughts on a fascinating company, and a few ideas for you to use The Audit Library as efficiently as you use Netflix.

Startup Strategies

First let’s examine Netflix’s strategy as a startup. In the beginning Netflix needed to gain market share and appeal to the masses in order to become a viable business. So, they bought up as many movie titles as possible. And I mean as many as possible. They didn’t much care about the quality of the content, but they wanted to make sure there was A LOT of content to choose from. This lead to many obscure titles in their library of movies. Many of those movies only got “rented” once a year, if they were rented at all!

We are currently in the startup phase ourselves, but we see things a little differently. At The Audit Library, we have a saying; “Quality content is key!” What does that mean? We do not put anything in the Library that we don’t consider to be the highest quality possible. Olivia and I are both Certified Internal Auditors who have spent our careers working in your shoes. Now we spend hours each day creating, updating, and curating content for all of our subscribers. We want to make sure that each item in our Library is something that an Internal Auditor would find useful.

Netflix’s strategic goal was to grow and gain market share as fast possible. It was kind of a “throw it at the wall and see what sticks” philosophy. Alternatively, at The Audit Library our goal is to grow slowly and sustainably while continually providing the best possible documents and templates for our subscribers. We know many of our subscribers very well and enjoy cultivating relationships that continue to grow over time!

Finding What You Need

When I open up Netflix, there is about a 60% chance I know what I want to watch. What about the other 40% of the time? Netflix has the answer. They are known for their machine learning and algorithm that allows the user to feel like they are making an independent decision when they are actually choosing programming options selected for them. The Netflix team gives you suggestions for movies and TV series that you didn’t even know you would like. Most of the time, I am grateful for this! I’ve found myself watching engaging documentaries on social issues, obscure comedies, and even Tiding Up with Marie Kondo. I am much better for it… and so is my sock drawer!

When our subscribers come to The Audit Library, they know what they are looking for about 90% of the time. The best way to find it is through our search function. But sometimes you may not find the document you are looking for right away. That is where our dedication to service comes in. Just contact us and ask for help! We are always happy to direct you to the document that fits your needs.

As those cheesy infomercials (which I haven’t watched in a long time because I’m too busy watching Netflix) say… “But wait, it gets better!” If a subscriber cannot find a document they need, then we will chat with you, determine if it is within the scope of the Library, create the document, and put it in the Library for all our subscribers to use.  Some of our most popular documents have come from subscriber requests, like the Social Media Audit Program (General, Bank, & CU) and the Information Technology & Security Audit Assistance Program (Bank & CU).

Imagine being able to email Netflix, ask for something you want to watch, and get a response from a human! That is almost unheard of. I’d say our level of commitment to the user experience is pretty extraordinary!

Categories Within Categories

In its early stages, Netflix was known for their extremely specific categories, such as ”TV Shows With a Strong Female Lead.” In recent years, Netflix has better tailored its categories to be a bit broader and more user friendly; “Bingeworthy Dramas,” “True Crime Documentaries,” and “Critically Acclaimed Movies” were promoted on my feed. Were they taking a cue from The Audit Library?!?!?

The Audit Library also uses categories to help our subscribers find the content that they need! But, before we break things into categories, we break our documents down by industry. Because Olivia and I come from banking and Credit Union backgrounds, The Audit Library’s documents focus on financial institutions. As a result, we put our documents into 3 categories: Credit Union, Bank, and General. The General category is used for all the documents in the Library that are not industry specific.

Next, we break things down into specific document categories. We have tried to keep these as simple as possible, all while providing our subscribers with the information they need to use our document list with ease.  Here are our categories:

  • Administration
  • Analysis Tools
  • Audit Committee Templates
  • Audit Department Administration
  • Audit Programs
  • Audit Risk Suite
  • Branch Audit Suite
  • External Audit Tools
  • Investigation Tools & Templates
  • Planning & Budgeting Tools
  • Policy & Charter Templates
  • Quality Control & Continuous Improvement
  • Reporting & Tracking
  • Supervisory Committee Suite
  • Workpaper Templates

We’ve made it easy for you to filter the Library by industry and by category to make your hunt for the right document even easier! This also allows you to browse various categories when you aren’t quite sure what you need, or are looking for new ideas. Another option is to browse by date. Similar to the “New Releases” section of Netflix, filtering by date shows you the most recent addition or update.

Conclusion

While Netflix and The Audit Library have a few common elements, and some critical differences, we are both absolutely dedicated to providing subscribers with the content that they want and need, in a format that is simple to understand, all for a reasonable price. If you have any questions about The Audit Library, our content, or even a specific document, please contact us. We are always happy to answer your questions!

So, to answer the question of the title of this blog, “Is The Audit Library the Netflix of the Internal Audit world?” No, we are even better!

What category would you like to see added to The Audit Library? Do you have a favorite category in the Library? Are there any documents you have “binged” by adding to your audit plan? Leave a comment below, and let us know what you think

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