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Reap and sow: the benefits of assurance maps

Highlight the value of assurance by demonstrating the benefits of assurance maps, with practical tips from Amarjit Atkar and John Ward

Visual representations can make almost any data easier to explore and understand – and assurance activities are no exception. Assurance mapping can provide great insights for boards, senior management, audit committees and other stakeholders. By offering a structured means of identifying and mapping the main sources of assurance across an organisation, assurance maps can be an effective tool for co-ordinating assurance services and analysing them against an organisation’s risks and perceived level of assurance need across risk governance ‘lines of defence’.

This includes management policies and controls, risk management, internal audit and external audit. Assurance maps can be a powerful management and governance tool for public sector bodies, listed companies and smaller organisations. To assist auditors to explore and exploit their potential, the faculty has developed various practical resources. In September 2018, seven new helpsheets were introduced and in this article we focus on four key aspects of assurance mapping: sponsorship; who should develop and maintain the map; embedding the process into existing management and governance; and how to set a baseline.

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