Get Prepared for an Audit
The following steps offer some information about getting prepared for an audit. This guidance is designed to make our audit process run more smoothly, minimize the amount of time we are onsite, limit the disruption to your operations and increase the likelihood of our work providing reliable outcomes.
The information outlined below gives some information on the steps that you can take before we start the audit:
- Assemble appropriate and current background information about your unit that you think might help us.
- Provide us with information or any other reviews or inspections that have taken place in your function.
- Prior to starting an audit, we always hold a planning meeting with you to identify the scope of the audit. This meeting covers the key areas of operations for your function within the context of any strategic plans that you may have.
- At the planning meeting, you may want to consider which staff members should be present. In particular, we often find it helpful for someone at the meeting to provide us with an overview of the function’s work.
- As part of our planning we provide an engagement letter that outlines in broad terms, the work that we will be doing. You may find it useful to distribute a copy of this letter to your staff members so that they expect us to be around and have an idea of the type of work we will be undertaking. It also helps those staff members that we need to contact, identify the sort of records and information that they need to have available when we meet with them.
- Identify an “audit contact” who can act as a liaison person to work with us. This staff member should be responsible for ensuring that we have access to records and files or any other resources we need to complete our reviews as well as direct us to the appropriate colleagues who can help us complete specific areas of our review. This person normally acts as our main point of contact as the audit progresses so that we can continue to keep you informed of how the work is going. Contact person often find it useful to schedule meetings with us periodically throughout the audit to stay in touch with how we are progressing. This is a good way to facilitate communication, resolve issues on a timely basis, and correct any misunderstandings.
- If your area has been audited in the past, it is important to review the last audit report that we did. A standard feature of our approach is to review the progress of past recommendations. Findings that were marked as material weakness in previous reports will always be revisited.
- Finally, ask us if you have any doubts or queries about the work that we shall be doing or are planning to do.
Note that these are only recommended general steps to prepare for an audit. Specific steps and information requests unique to your function will be identified and communicated to you as part of the initial contact and planning meeting.