Aligning your internal audit templates with the Standards

How we have attempted to make our templates meet the criteria of the IIA’s International Standards for the Professional Practice of Internal Auditing (Standards)

Over the past year, I have been uploading a variety of templates covering all aspects of the audit process. The templates are a way for me to share my audit knowledge, skills, and templates; whilst also providing an opportunity to help other auditors not only become more diligent and efficient, but also help others meet some of the requirements of the IIA’s International Standards for the Professional Practice of Internal Auditing (Standards).


It is important to note, that without an independent assessment, I cannot say that these templates conform to the Standards. Similarly, anyone using these templates in a review cannot state in their final report that the audit has been conducted in accordance with the Standards without an independent assessment also. However, the templates have been built off best practice from across the industry, with particular attention being paid to the requirements of both the Internal Audit standards and Auditing Standard - ASA 230 - Audit Documentation.


Our audit overview (which can be accessed here), shows how each of our templates can be linked to the audit standards. Snippets of our audit process and how it links to the audit standards is included below:


The Standards

The Global Institute of Internal Auditors have put together standards, aimed at guiding adherence with the mandatory components of the International Professional Practices Framework (IPPF), providing a framework for performing audits, establishing a basis for evaluation and, encouraging improved business processes and operations.


As the IIA states, “The Standards are a set of principles-based mandatory requirements…”. These should form the minimum of all your workpapers.


The Standards can be accessed here.


Planning

Your audit will only be as good as your planning. Failure to appropriately plan and scope the review can potentially result in risks not being appropriately reviewed, or improvement opportunities within the business not being identified.


The Standards reflect how important the planning phase is, with the Standards considering everything from current risks and governance processes, through to current control frameworks within the business, and even the objectives of the review. The templates we have developed will help guide you throughout the Planning process and help you consider parts of the Standards.


As always, be sure to check the Standards for yourself to make sure you have considered all the minimum components.


Our planning templates can be accessed here.


Fieldwork

This is the guts of it. By now, you have done all the planning, worked out what your risk areas are, and now built a Work Program around how you are going to test and address each of the identified risks.


Throughout the fieldwork phase, it’s important to ensure that all of your work is appropriately documented. If it’s not documents, it’s not done. At a minimum, each workpaper should include:

  • Scope area being addressed

  • Purpose/objective of the workpaper

  • Methodology – how we have performed the work

  • Tests

  • Outcome / conclusion


Our fieldwork templates can be accessed here.


Reporting

The audit report phase is important for so many reasons. Not only is it the one major output of your work, but it is also a direct reflection of the effort and attention to detail which has been undertaken during the audit.


An audit report also has the potential to value add by identifying opportunities or future considerations which may not have otherwise been surfaced.


It is important that reports are communicated to the relevant stakeholders and appropriate management. Additionally, reports should be clear and concise as they will be constantly referred to for the action tracking / audit follow up process.


Our reporting templates can be accessed here.


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