Developing Audit Observations - IIA Canada

A significant amount of time is committed to an internal audit engagement, and a clear and actionable audit observation is critical to communicate issues noted during the engagement. Audit observations provide management, the board, and stakeholders with adequate detail and an objective summary of an organization’s operations, risks, and controls, as well as a thorough summary of the audit work performed. Audit observations are the means by which internal audit communicates audit results. But what does it take to develop an actionable audit observation, and what signifies an audit observation as actionable?
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A significant amount of time is committed to an internal audit engagement, and a clear and actionable audit observation is critical to communicate issues noted during the engagement. Audit observations provide management, the board, and stakeholders with adequate detail and an objective summary of an organization’s operations, risks, and controls, as well as a thorough summary of the audit work performed. Audit observations are the means by which internal audit communicates audit results. But what does it take to develop an actionable audit observation, and what signifies an audit observation as actionable?

This highly interactive course provides internal auditors with timely insights into how to utilize critical-thinking techniques to translate audit findings into actionable audit observations. This course is not focused on the act of audit report writing, but rather on the foundational component of audit reporting — an effective audit observation. This course reviews the common writing mistakes that impact an internal auditor’s ability to effectively communicate audit observations. During this course, participants will practice writing audit observations, as well as review audit observations for peers.

Who will benefit from this course?

By participating in this course, internal auditors in all sectors and at all levels will be able to recognize what should be included in an effective and actionable audit observation that will meet professional standards. By honing critical thinking and writing skills, internal auditors can distinguish themselves as effective communicators and trusted advisors.

Course Objectives

• Explore the importance of critical thinking when developing audit observations.
• Identify good writing strategies.
• Utilize good writing strategies to improve writing quality.
• Practice how to develop audit observations that are accurate, objective, clear, concise, constructive, complete, timely, and actionable.
• Develop audit observations that articulate the connection between the audit findings, and how the findings can impact the audit client’s ability to meet their organizational objectives.
• Explain the importance of conducting team vetting of audit observations.