It is a change of things that has seen companies amending their filings to report previously undisclosed material weaknesses. The shakeup has even seen the SEC take stringent action against executives found to have played a hard in incorrect internal control audits.
The increased scrutiny of external auditors thus means that you should have a sound audit strategy when testing and documenting internal controls. You need to avoid some of the common blunders that internal auditors make. To meet this requirement, the professionals at Barclay Simpson believe you need to remember the following things:
1. Remember to add value
Audit and micromanagement are curved from the same log. It is hard to talk about one and dismiss the other. When working with an audit team, you should invest enough time in the micromanaging process. The objective it so to add value to the audit. For this, you can opt a strategy such as adopting an effective workflow process that you can stick to till the end.
2. Plan and then plan some more
You should have set the plan right from the start that lays out the path to take so that you can effectively use your time and resources. That means you should start planning early. The objective in mind is to establish a consulting engagement that will aid your senior management to identify and address the root of the problems.
3. Keep to the big picture
Do what you can to up the effectiveness and efficiency of the documentation and reporting processes to the audit committee. Instead of hunting for numbers, you should table the current readings to the committee, and do so with ease. You can achieve this by creating a documentation and reporting process that uses dashboards and reports that auto-update so that you can focus on the analysis part of things.
4. Account for the unexpected
The unexpected may turn up, so how will you respond to such a situation? You should have a plan in place that will help you deal with the surprises. It will ensure that you and your team can resolve any matter that pops up efficiently.
5. Eliminate the stress of massive audit reports
The audit committee will not want to spend their time going through a report that is lengthy as a novel. Therefore, invest in a real-time, executive-level automated dashboard that has crucial metrics and other features that ease the processes. Also, ensure that you increase visibility for the reports across the organizations to make reporting easier.
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