Updated: Mar 21, 2020
Nobody understands current processes and activities better than those performing it on a daily basis. Its therefore important that, as part of the planning process, we meet with those within the business to understand what policies and procedures are currently in place. Furthermore, understanding their thoughts as the biggest risks, challenges and improvement opportunities, helps us to better scope and plan our audit.
Prior to meeting with the business, substantial legwork should have been performed by the audit team. We should attempt to understand what policies or procedures are already available, who makes up the team (i.e. organisation chart), what audit activities have already been performed, and what legislation or regulation impacts the business area. Many of these things can be found through the company's intranet, leveraging a prior audit file, and even a simple Google search. Having this level of background knowledge will help show our level of investment into the audit topic and help build a trusting relationship with those from the business area. To meet with the business and not understand what they do would not gain us, as the auditor, any level of respect, nor would it instill confidence in the business area.
Templates have been developed to help cover these topics, and can be accessed from here.
A preview of the template is included below:
This activity forms part of a suit of planning activities which should be performed to make sure we fully understand the audit topic. The outcomes from this audit activity will help feed into our Audit Team Planning discussions, and ultimately, our Terms of Reference / Audit Assignment Plan.
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