Manager your Internal Audit Annual Plan and team leave
Managing the Annual Plan and team leave is not an easy task. There are so many competing priorities. You have to deliver X amount of audits by the end of the year with only Y team members, and there is every chance once of those team members could leave during the year. You then have to make sure you deliver a Z audits to each quarterly audit committee, but you then need to make sure each team member has ample time to take their leave entitlement, study days and any training. Last but not least, we need to make sure that the timing of the audits is also suitable for the business areas. For instance, you are not going to perform a procurement audit during the financial year end; as that is just adding unnecessary stress to a team which will already be busy preparing the financial statements and dealing with the external auditors.
To summarise, setting the annual plan for the year is a delicate task.
Next comes allocating the resources. We need to make sure team members are getting a say and can do (some) of the internal audits that they find interesting. We then need to make sure they are getting exposure across all the business and not being siloed in just one area. Lastly, we need to make sure they are getting the chance to work with each other; we don't want the same people working with each other all year.
Balancing all of these competing priorities is not each. It takes time to plan the audits, allocate resources and make sure everyone is happy, and the slightest change can throw everything out.
For this reason, it is important that audit teams map out their audit plan for the year as much as possible. Of course, this works better for the more 'traditional' audit teams. Agile audit teams may only plan audits on a quarterly basis and therefore, will not need to be so diligent in layout out their annual plan. You can read about an Agile approach to the Annual Plan here.
We have prepared a simple excel tool which allows audit teams to map out their annual plan and allocate resources to each audit. In addition, it also provides space for team members to record where and when they are taking leave, or block out space for busy periods.
You can view a free copy of the Annual Plan Dashboard and resource tool here.
You can purchase a copy of the tool here.
You can become a member here and receive access to all of our templates here.
Once the Dashboard has been built, it is best to keep this in a central place. Having the file accessible on Teams or SharePoint will help ensure version control and that all team members are working off the most up to date version of the annual plan and timing.
It will also help team members determine when they are best placed to take any annual leave, or where audit timeframes do need to change, we can see what impact the change will likely have.
“By Failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” – Benjamin Franklin