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Accounting Best Practices, Fifth Edition by Steven M. Bragg Englewood, Colorado

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15–15. Use Workflow Software for Internal Audits

Larger companies with many internal auditors face the following challenge: They have a difficult time controlling the activities of their auditors, rarely have a good knowledge of prior audits already completed, require extra travel time to return to company locations to clear hanging audit issues, and cannot readily see if the same auditing problems are cropping up in multiple parts of the company. These problems result in significant inefficiencies in work efforts.

One can resolve these problems by installing workflow software that has been tailored to the particular needs of the internal auditing environment. For example, workflow software contains forms and templates that are commonly used in most audits, allowing the staff to save time that would otherwise be spent creating work papers from scratch. In addition, information entered directly into the workflow database through these on-line forms can be reviewed from a central location by audit managers, thereby reducing the amount of time spent traveling to remote company locations. Further, this information is then available to all auditors, anywhere in the company, for immediate review.

If audit documents must be approved by multiple people, the software can send an electronic version of the documents to each person in turn, and wait for each one’s approval before being sent to the next person in the approval process. It can also inform each approver of the date by which approval ...

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