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Managing your audits in a small function

Harnessing the power of Microsoft Office

Documentation is the one critical component of any internal audit, and for those who have worked with me, will cringe at the phrase "its not done if it's not documented". But its how we document our audits that varies between organisations, Internal Audit departments, and individuals. This can vary for a number of reasons. Some teams are bound by strict documentation and audit methodology guidelines, others are more lax, or certain individuals can be quite particular. Alternatively, teams can be bound or guided by their audit system tools and programs.

Large audit departments, or businesses who invest large amounts into their audit functions and can afford programs such as Pentana, TeamMate, AuditBoard and CaseWare Idea, will have the ability to build entire audit universes, risk matrix's and whole audit files into the systems. These can be invaluable, particularly where teams are either quite large or have frequent turnover and audit team members need to access and leverage off prior audits.

For smaller audit departments however, the luxury offered by various audit programs is not available. Too often, small audit teams move to Microsoft Office, creating multiple documents and saving these down into a common share folder. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this, and often suits many team members. Its familiar, and means new teams members do not need to be taught how to use various systems. However, the full potential of Microsoft Office is not always reached, and this is where we like to come in.