Good practices of internal audit and control in organisations
It could be said that the audit report is the most important aspect of the entire work process. You may have selected the correct area, evaluated the results effectively, analysed in depth the controls and recorded results elegantly in referenced work; but if the report does not reflect this excellence, you will not get the desired success. The internal audit report is perhaps the only tangible product that management can see in the work of this department.
If you want to significantly improve the quality of your reports, apply the following tips:
1: Be Brief
The Brevity is probably the main key factor or characteristic of an excellent report. Brevity is not only about the number of pages to include in the report, but also to present only those aspects that are crucial for the user using the fewest words possible.
2: Highlight the Main Message
Readers prefer that the main message is placed first, and then read the reviews, details and explanations that support the main message. Studies on comprehensive reading support the basic principle of placing the main message first. These studies show that users absorb more information and better remember the details when the key message leads writing. The structure of the report should be developed intentionally and openly to push the main message forward.
3: Divide the Report Sections
Many users do not read the full report. They jump and fly to certain sections of the report, seeking the information they need. The high-level users read the opinion (or conclusion) and stop there. Depending on the severity of the issues, the manager`s responsible for the area under review, the opinion, observation posts and recommendations – but could not read the comments completely.
Readers are selective, so we should not view the reports as a continuous text, but as a series of layers or sections. Each section allows the reader to delve into more details and explanations, depending on your needs. A high-level message must lead each section. Then continue the supportive comments, summary`s and details.
4: Present a Clear Conclusion
This is essential. You need to ensure that the reader clearly understands what you think about the effectiveness and efficiency of the area under review. The need to develop a statement of opinion and being concise is the best way to achieve this goal.
The findings may relate to the whole area of work or only certain aspects. They may cover issues such as determining whether the goals and objectives of programs and operations are consistent with those of the organisation. The opinion may include an overall assessment of controls or may be limited to certain controls or aspects evaluated during the internal audit work. For more expert advice on this, you can speak to an accountant today, Your Virtual Office London work with experienced and qualified accountants who are able to help with such important matters.
5: Effective following up on corrective actions
A draft internal audit does not end until the recommendations are implemented.
The internal audit activity can be monitored effectively by receiving and evaluating:
â€¢ The management responses and the proposed observations and recommendations during the engagement or within a reasonable time after communication of the results. The answers are more useful if they include sufficient information to evaluate the adequacy and timeliness of the proposed actions.
â€¢ Periodic updates from management in order to evaluate their efforts to correct the observations and implement the recommendations.
â€¢ Information from other organisational units that are assigned responsibility for monitoring or corrective action.