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Improving audit documentation

David Gallagher offers some practical advice on enhancing audit documentation.

In theory, simply recording what audit work has been done should not be hard. In practice, this is a challenge. Audit documentation is a difficult thing to master and firms can struggle with what to document and how much to document if they are to adequately demonstrate compliance with all of the relevant requirements. The biggest difficulty is recording challenge. It's easy (and sensible) for the standards to require the auditor to be professionally sceptical.Audit & Beyond cover article

Don't lose sight of the fact that having a chat with management is not audit evidence. Having a chat and then seeing appropriate evidence (including written representations where appropriate) to support management view is audit evidence. Like many matters related to documentation, this may seem obvious. Sometimes, however, what QAD reviewers see on audit files suggests that the former has taken place rather than the latter - even in circumstances where it may later become apparent that auditors have been more thorough and robust in their questioning and testing than indicated by the documentation.