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Cold file reviews finding best practice

Insights from cold file reviews can help all firms to improve the quality and efficiency of their audit and non-audit work. David Gallagher explores how.

It makes a lot of sense to use root cause analysis (RCA) techniques to identify the underlying key causes behind the findings of the various reviews that are conducted of audit and non-audit engagements, both individually and firm-wide.

RCA can enable firms to take actions that can prevent recurrence of negative outcomes and promote recurrence of positive ones; but the prospect can appear quite daunting for someone who has never embarked on it before. Cold file reviews can be a good place to begin. Strengths and weaknesses can be analysed to identify root causes and to support the consistent application of best practices, helping firms to improve not just the quality of audit and non-audit work, but its efficiency too.

This article will begin by considering how to get the most from cold file reviews in an audit context, then a non-audit context, before moving on to focus on how to combine such reviews with RCA.

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