Audit reports demonstrate the scope of the work performed in an audit. Through this document the auditor will show what was examined and analyzed, the procedures applied, and the conclusions made about the company being evaluated.
To help the administrative management of a company and help improve internal processes, the auditor should prepare a clear, objective, well-structured and precise report.
That’s why in this post you’ll find 6 indispensible tips to produce perfect audit reports. Take a look!
1. Prepare an efficient report
Since this report should represent the connection between the auditor and various readers, it needs to be methodologically rigorous and well-prepared technically. It should provide the reader with a crystal clear interpretation of the company’s processes, controls and records.
Producing audit reports that are truly efficient requires basic elements such as:
- Clarity — the report should be written so that it can be understood by all those who examine it;
- Objectivity — avoid useless excess information and go straight to the point;
- Methodology — the preparation of the report needs to be developed using a methodology that makes it easy to reach conclusions;
- Ability — be able to express in writing your logical and critical arguments and suggestions;
- Impartiality — the work should be free from any personal ties which could compromise the seriousness of its execution;
- Precision — the document needs to be fundamentally sound to inspire the reader with total confidence and not create uncertainties related to its preparation;
- Easy to read — it should be possible to understand the report in the shortest time possible;
- Caution — all of the elements that give the author the conviction to criticize various processes and/or people should be very clear, and the arguments should be well-made, observed and confirmed;
- Opportunity — the report should be developed in a timely manner so that the critiques and recommendations of the auditor can effectively contribute to correcting the direction in which the organization is headed.
2. Talk with the managers
Before issuing your report, it’s important to talk with the person responsible for the auditing department and present all infractions and all the controversial points that have been analyzed.
This step makes it possible for these errors to be adjusted ahead of time, making the audit dynamic, which also offers an opportunity to evaluate the behavior of the person responsible when presented with these issues.
This conversation should facilitate the clarification of inconsistencies and will help ensure that there is no point that wasn’t analyzed adequately which could tarnish the credibility of the report’s other fundamental points.
3. Relate irregularities with precision
The report should relate irregularities in a detailed and well-founded manner to give the reader total confidence in the information presented with no room for doubt as to how the work was executed.
In the text you should be careful in using certain expressions such as:
- “all of this leads us to believe”;
- “we discovered a few discrepancies”;
- “it appears that”; and
- “our impression”.
These and similar expressions should be avoided because they are not clear and do not convey credibility and reliability in terms of the analyses performed, and also give the impression that they were done in a superficial manner.
4. Present the positive verified facts
In your report, it’s as important to point out the positive verified facts as it is to point out the inconsistencies.
Generally the auditing process is seen in a negative light. However, auditing has become a collaborative process in which the auditor works with the managers to find and show problems and indicate possible solutions.
5. Prepare a critical analysis that suggests improvements
In order to make consistent critical analyses and recommend the proper solutions for nonconformities, the auditor needs to have at least a minimal knowledge of the various processes that exist within an organization and should be prepared to emit a report with effective and efficient conclusions.
6. Use technology to optimize your reports
The use of technology helps in the preparation of reports. You can use it to highlight the most important points through indices that project an immediate visualization of the topics that require special attention from the managers.
Software and applications contribute to the structural organization of reports, make them more agile and optimize their analytic characteristics to provide a synthesis of your work, which will help when it comes time to begin the decision-making process.
So have you enjoyed our tips on audit reports? Want to keep on improving your management processes? Then read this other article about predictable revenue and how it can help your company!