Much has been said about all the ways the retail industry is transforming and the rapid speed of change. America's biggest retail brands are constantly rethinking about the products they sell, ways to increase engagement with customers, and how to more efficiently transport products from manufacturer to store shelves and customers' homes. In addition to evolving consumer-facing operations, retailers are also analyzing their internal operations and finding new ways to approach things like compliance, risk assessment, and audit planning.
As part of this effort, RILA recently hosted a joint meeting of members' chief compliance and ethics officers and chief internal audit executives in Washington, DC. Creative and innovative use of new and emerging technologies, including artificial intelligence (AI), natural language processing and predictive analytics was a major theme of the meeting's presentations and benchmarking discussions.
Presenters included Dan Click, KPMG, presented on the use of AI and predictive analytics to enhance audit planning, and Kevin Lane and Maureen Mohlenkamp, Deloitte, discussed the use of technology to assess companies' culture of compliance and as part of a crisis management plan.
Several retailers in attendance shared the ways in which they are currently using technology to help enhance and streamline compliance and audit operations. Cindy Moehring, chief ethics and compliance officer at Walmart, presented a case study to the group highlighting several company pilot projects demonstrating how the nation's largest retailer is creatively using innovative technologies to reduce costs and compliance burden on store personnel while strengthening compliance programs overall.
Tabitha Jenkins, vice president and assistant general counsel for Burlington Stores and Anthony Leusner, director of internal audit, drew on their experience to share practical tips and insight on how internal audit and compliance departments can effectively collaborate and leverage limited resources.
In addition, the meeting also served as an opportunity for the committee members to benchmark with each other around top challenges facing the industry and best practices for addressing them. The group discussed key topics like business continuity and disaster response, loyalty program audits, inventory audits, performing internal quality review of audit work, website accessibility, and more.
For more information on RILA's Internal Audit Committee or Compliance Council, please reach out to Kathleen McGuigan, RILA's SVP and deputy general counsel.