Promoting the work of Internal Audit and raising awareness of who we are can help the business (and the audit function) in may ways. Whilst a newsletter may seem old school and extra admin on our already busy schedules, it can in fact pay dividends if done well.
There are many formats which an Internal Audit Newsletter can take. We have developed ours in Microsoft Word, meaning it can then be either turned into a PDF and distributed across the business, uploaded to an intranet page, or easily printable. Other options for your Internal Audit Newsletter can include:
When choosing how to develop and share your Internal Audit Newsletter, it is important to consider a few factors, such as:
What will people most likely read?
At what level should it be pitched?
Is there any sensitive information which should not be shared?
Whats the culture / view of internal audit we want to promote?
For instance, audit recommendation follow up / action tracking is always a sensitive topic. Whilst including statistics about it in the newsletter may help encourage business areas to implement actions quicker as they don't want to be the worst area in the business, it may have the opposite effect, where business areas become disgruntled as the statistics don't represent other factors which may have caused a delay in implementing recommendations.
Additionally, inclusion of the Annual Plan and its status may reduce the element of surprise needed when an internal audit is performed. Whilst business areas generally know an audit will be performed at a certain time, promoting the plan and the status may see business areas 'tidy up' their area's before audit arrives.
Including this information in the newsletter should be considered before being sent around to ensure its going to achieve the desired outcomes, yet not damage the reputation of audit or the culture currently built up in the business.
Other items to include in your newsletter can be a 'Tip of the Week'. Basic issues which are common in most audits, such as spreadsheet controls, can be included in the Tip of the Week section, allowing business areas to proactively audit themselves and fix the issue.
Additionally, promoting members of the audit team can help put a face to internal audit and also help build individuals networking across the business.
The Internal Audit Newsletter should not be an arduous process. It can also be the responsibility for a junior team member which allows them to take ownership and accountability.
To download a FREE copy of our Internal Audit Newsletter template, please CLICK HERE.
To purchase an editable version of our Internal Audit Newsletter template, please CLICK HERE.