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Writing Highly Effective Audit Reports

5 Day Training

Dates: Available on Request
Locations: Johannesburg, South Africa
Platform: Available In-Class / Online

Price: Available on Request

Course Introduction

 In the present-day context, the performance of the audit department often hinges on the quality of its principal deliverable: the audit report. The effectiveness of the audit can be significantly influenced by the calibre of the audit report. Therefore, it is crucial that the report is crafted professionally and effectively communicates the intended message in a clear, succinct, and unequivocal manner. 

This course aims to equip auditors with the skills to draft and organize persuasive and impactful audit reports that compel readers to take action.

 

The new Global Internal Audit Standards published in January 2024 emphasize the importance of clarity, timeliness, and stakeholder engagement in reporting. Internal auditors are expected to provide clear, accurate, and timely reports that include comprehensive findings, conclusions, and action plans. The standards also highlight the need for maintaining independence and objectivity in reporting, adhering to the IIA standards, and continuously improving the quality of internal audit reports.

Course Objectives

After completing this Writing Highly effective audit reports course you will be able to

  • Simplify your reports and enhance their readability in line with Global Internal Audit Standards

    Significantly enhance the impact of your reports

  • Make your reports easier to write, easier to review and easier for management to implement

  • Improve the acceptance and implementation of your recommendations

  • Create more focussed audit opinions

  • Reduce the lead time for their issue

  • Avoid unnecessary words and phrases

  • Benchmark your audit reports against worldwide best practice

  • Influence management more effectively

  • Negotiate more successful outcomes

Who should attend?

  • Experienced auditors or other assurance professional who want to significantly improve their reports

  • Newer internal auditors – to enable them to learn the most up to date techniques

  • Personnel in other functions who need a wider understanding on how to improve their reports

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

Day 1: Introduction and Foundations

Morning Session:

  1. Audit Reports – Your Shop Window

    • Overview of audit reports

    • The 5 dilemmas of audit reporting

    • What is a best practice report?

    • Identifying your audience and stakeholders

Mid-Morning Break

  1. Communicating Results and Creating Impact

    • Top tips for communicating results

    • Grabbing attention and getting the message across

    • Exercise 1: Evaluating factors of excellent reports

Lunch Break

Afternoon Session: 3. Challenges of Audit Reporting

  • Common challenges and solutions

  • Best practice measures

  • Exercise 2: Analysing 35 questions about your audit reports

Mid-Afternoon Break

  1. Enhancing Recommendations

    • How to achieve 95% implementation of recommendations

    • Using charts, photos, and other visuals effectively

    • Exercise 3: Analysis of actual audit reports

 

Day 2: Writing Techniques and Executive Summaries

Morning Session:

  1. The Executive Summary

    • Role and importance of the executive summary

    • Writing impactful executive summaries

    • Exercise 4: Comparison of executive summaries

Mid-Morning Break

  1. Drafting the Executive Summary

    • Key issues to cover in the executive summary

    • Exercise 5: Role-play meeting with senior management

    • Feedback and discussion

Lunch Break

Afternoon Session: 3. Writing Reports with Impact

  • Marketing the audit reporting process

  • Crafting messages and outcomes

  • Exercise 6: Writing an impactful report

Mid-Afternoon Break

  1. Best Practices and Audit Observations

    • Simple vs. complex language

    • Using ‘power words’ effectively

    • Exercise 7: Writing a report based on new audit observations

 

Day 3: Review Process and Finalization

Morning Session:

  1. Improving the Review Process

    • Techniques for effective review

    • Avoiding unnecessary changes

    • Exercise 8: The review process

Mid-Morning Break

  1. Main Report Writing Techniques

    • Writing coherent sentences and paragraphs

    • Overcoming writer’s block

    • Exercise 9: Rewriting paragraphs

Lunch Break

Afternoon Session: 3. Finalizing and Issuing the Report

  • Recommendations, actions plans, and management comments

  • Follow-up audits and responsibility for actions

  • Exercise 10: Follow-up of reports

Mid-Afternoon Break

  1. Assessment and Evaluation

    • Self-evaluation against provided models

    • Exercise 11: Self-assessment of reports

    • Discussion of key issues and action plans

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