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Mastering Communication and Report Writing for Internal Auditors

5 Day Training

Dates: 02 – 06 September 2024
Locations: Prospen Africa Conference Venue
Platform: Available In-Class / Online

Price: Available on Request

Course Introduction

This Prospen course is designed to enhance the communication and report writing skills of internal auditors, ensuring they can effectively convey their findings and recommendations to stakeholders. By developing strong communication abilities, internal auditors can maximize their impact, drive improvements, and facilitate necessary changes within their organizations. Throughout the course, participants will engage in interactive activities and practical exercises to apply the concepts learned.

 

Internal auditors often encounter challenging communication scenarios during the audit process, from initial planning to presenting findings and recommendations. Effective communication is crucial to provide assurance to the board and senior management, ensuring that the audit process results in meaningful improvements.

Course Objectives

Upon completion of the Mastering Communication and Report Writing for Internal Auditors course, participants will be able to:

  • Assess your communication skills, including verbal, non-verbal, and listening.

  • Optimize key message delivery to stakeholders.

  • Influence managers and staff to improve organizational performance.

Who should attend?

  • Internal Auditors

  • Audit Managers

  • Compliance Officers

  • Risk Managers

  • Finance and Accounting Professionals

Audit, Risk and Governance courses

Training Methodology

Our diverse instructional approaches ensure effective learning:

– Lectures & Presentations: Engage with expert-driven, stimulating content.
– Course Material: Access well-crafted supporting resources.
– Group Work: Collaborate on discussions and case studies for practical insights.
– Workshops & Role-Play: Participate in immersive, scenario-based activities.
– Practical Application: Focus on applying theoretical knowledge in real situations.
– Post-Training Support: Receive extensive support after training for skill implementation.

Training Outline

Module: Communication Skills Overview

  • Importance of effective communication skills

  • Professional Standards and communications

  • Challenges for internal auditors

  • Fundamentals of communication

  • Benefits of effective communication

  • Communication channels for internal auditors

  • Internal audit communication methods

  • Planning to communicate effectively

Activity: Solving communication problems

 

Module: Characteristics of Effective Communication

  • The theory of communication

  • Communication process: Encoding, Decoding, Perception, Feedback

  • Communication styles

  • Knowing your audience

  • Golden rules of effective communication

Activity: Know your audience

 

Module: Listening Skills

  • Communicating by listening

  • Comprehensive, Critical, and Relationship listening

  • Listening styles

  • Qualities of good listeners

  • Avoiding poor listening habits

  • The importance of body language

  • Body language zones

  • Internal auditors as listeners

Activity: How do you rate as a listener?

 

Module: Developing Relationships Through Effective Communication

  • Key factors in relationships

  • Successful business relationships

  • Effective stakeholder engagement

  • Understanding stakeholder requirements

  • Managing stakeholder expectations

  • Collaboration and cooperation

  • Dealing with difficult people

  • Assertiveness in the workplace

  • Positive and negative conflict

  • Conflict management

  • Golden rules of workplace communication

  • Checklist for managing conflict

Activity: Stakeholder mapping

 

Module: Meeting and Interviewing Skills

  • Importance of meetings and interviews for internal auditors

  • Types of meetings and interviews

  • Interview structure: Preparation, Introduction, Exploration, Investigation, Verification, Analysis, Summary, Closing

  • Question types: Open, Probing, Closed, Clarifying, Confirming

  • Strategies for challenging situations

  • Levels of questioning

  • Overcoming common interview challenges

  • Golden rules of internal audit interviews

Activity: Assess and improve your meeting and interviewing skills
Activity: Overcoming challenges in interviews

 

Module: Negotiation and Influencing Skills

  • Characteristics of effective negotiators

  • Negotiation tone and structure

  • Conducting and closing negotiations

  • Win-win outcomes and other negotiation results

  • Golden rules for effective negotiations

Activity: Let’s negotiate!
Activity: Developing a Win-Win approach

 

Module: Communications and Internal Audit Engagements

  • Importance of effective communications for internal engagements

  • Communicating the engagement plan and during the engagement

  • Tone and presentation of findings

  • Structuring presentations

  • Golden rules when presenting findings

Activity: Developing your presentation skills – The Shard

 

Module: Communication Skills Within the Internal Audit Team

  • Leadership and management

  • Leading remote teams

  • 7 attributes of effective internal audit leaders

  • Team motivation and coaching

  • Communication skills for coaching

Activity: Coaching to improve

Presentation

Module: Why Internal Auditors Write Reports

  • Reasons and importance of reporting

  • Adding value and changing behaviour through effective reports

  • Common challenges and mistakes in audit reporting

  • Reporting to gain agreement and change behaviour

  • Best practice reporting process

Activity: Common difficulties in reporting
Activity: Common mistakes in reports written by others

 

Module: Types of Audit Reports

  • Engagement reports

  • Real-time reporting – interim reports

  • Summary assurance reports

  • Audit memorandum

Activity: Design a summary assurance report for the Board

 

Module: The Reporting Process

  • Outline and structure

  • First draft, editing, review, and approval

  • Delivery and distribution roles

Activity: Preparing the outline
Activity: Writing the first draft

 

Module: Writing the Report

  • Seven dimensions of quality reporting

  • The five ‘Cs’ approach: Condition, Criteria, Cause, Consequence, Corrective action

  • Dealing with audit findings: Favourable and Deficiency findings

  • Report tone and timing

Activity: Structuring audit findings
Activity: Improving wording in audit reports

Activity: Writing Effective Reports

  • Achieving clarity

  • Constructing professional paragraphs

  • Best practice sentence construction

  • Words that mean something

  • Appropriate punctuation for clarity and pace

  • Importance of editing

  • Effective editing that adds value

  • Reporting timeframes for maximum impact

Activity: Determining the clarity and effectiveness of your writing
Activity: Improving paragraphs and sentences
Activity: Be the editor

 

Module: Report Structure and Process

  • Executive summary

  • Background, introduction, and acknowledgements

  • Objectives and scope

  • Audit opinion

  • Findings, evaluations, and conclusions

  • Ranking findings

  • Recommendations: wording, priority, action plan

  • Appendices

  • Assurance opinion definitions

  • Target audience

Activity: Who reads which section
Activity: Design an effective management action plan
Presentation

 

Module: Reporting with Impact

  • Improving report appearance

  • Data visualization techniques

  • Impact of colour and imagery

  • Creating effective charts

  • Embedding charts and images

  • Data graphics that make a difference

Module: Reviewing and Agreeing the Report

  • Meeting IIA standards for communicating results

  • Review methods and quality checks

  • Agreement process: information, negotiation, pre-distribution check, distribution

Activity: Role play of exit conference with the client
Activity: Common errors in written English

 

Module: Following Up the Report

  • Importance of follow-up

  • Effective follow-up systems

  • Monitoring management action

  • Practical follow-up approaches

  • Escalation procedures

  • Reporting to the Audit Committee

Activity: Following up internal audit recommendations

  • Engaging your target audience

  • Effective engagement protocols

  • Gaining informal and formal feedback

  • Demonstrating action taken from feedback

Activity: Gaining feedback

Module: Course Assessment

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