Updated: Mar 21, 2020
An Audit Work Program forms the backbone of your review. It's what brings the assignment plan / scoping document, fieldwork, and observations all together. It is your central document, and as I like to say, forms your 'Golden Thread', showing everything you have done, and the eventual outcomes.
An Audit Program should link directly to the assignment plan / scoping document, but should provide more detail so that the reviewer can see exactly what was done against each scope area. In some ways, this should act as a checklist and way for the audit team to make sure key components and risk areas have been tested, however it should also have scope to change. As most people who have done an audit would be aware, new issues or areas for review will arise throughout an audit, and as such, an audit work program needs to be flexible enough to allow for this.
As such, this template will allow the audit team to document the key activities to be performed against each scope area, but also allow for new activities to be added as deemed appropriate. Furthermore, this template encourages auditors to be assigned to specific activities. This encourages ownership and accountability for each activity. This also has the added benefit in ensuring that all activities are being completed by someone, allows us to manage our audit teams time more appropriately, and allocate the best resources to each activity.
Finally, our template, whilst directly referencing the audit workpaper, also references observations raised in the audit report. This continues our 'Golden Thread', showing how any observations from each activity has made it to the final report, or in some instances, been removed from the final report / issues listing.
A preview of our template is included below:
Care should be taken to ensure that the audit program is built correctly the first time, but also a system for reviewing and updating during the review is implemented. Failure to properly prepare the audit program can result in missed activities, an inefficient audit approach, or a 'clumsy' impression given to the audit client.
The audit program is a living document for all team members to be activity engaged with to ensure the successful delivery of any review.
Simply CLICK HERE to download your free template.
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