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Improving audit files

Andrew Paul shares pointers on improving audit quality, looking at weaknesses in planning, improving communication with management, team meetings, documenting related parties and audit sampling.

There are many ways in which hot and cold file reviews can reveal opportunities to enhance audit quality and effectiveness, as Audit & Beyond recently outlined. In considering lots of audit files, external reviewers often find common areas of weakness. Highlighting these and offering some practical tips on how to address them may give all auditors some scope for improvements that could prevent a point being made during a file review.

In my experience, one of the most frequent phrases written in review reports is ‘lack of documentation of…’. When debriefing auditors at the end of a review, that comment is almost always met with the response: “I know all about that, it just isn’t on the file.”