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Cogent communication

Quality and efficiency are not mutually exclusive, as David Gallagher highlighted at his recent faculty lecture on mastering audit documentation.

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Audit documentation is an area where the gap between theory and practice can be difficult to close. In theory, simply recording what audit work has been done should not be hard. In practice, it is a challenge. Audit documentation is a difficult thing to master and firms can struggle with what to document and how much to document to demonstrate compliance with all of the relevant requirements.

The received wisdom is that there is a trade-off between quality and efficiency. To make money on an audit, you have to cut corners (and, in doing so, sacrifice quality). To keep the audit compliance partner and, ultimately, the Quality Assurance Department (QAD) happy, you have to accept write-offs on your audits. Quality and efficiency are mutually exclusive, right? Well, no actually...

This is an extract from an article in the November 2013 edition of Audit & Beyond, the magazine of the Audit and Assurance Faculty.

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