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

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15–17. Add Specialists to Audit Teams

A typical internal auditor has received training in a standard set of auditing functions that apply to the activities encountered in the majority of audits. However, specialized processes will be scheduled for audits from time to time for which the internal audit staff has received no training. This may arise when a business process has been specially modified or enhanced at one or a few company locations, and the internal audit staff is unfamiliar with the modifications or their impact on controls. These audits can be difficult, since the internal auditor must spend time learning the new or revised process and determining any resulting changes to the control environment.

A better approach is to invite specialists to an audit to deal with these processes. A good person to invite is someone who has personally been involved in the implementation of a particular system at a different location, and who, therefore, is an expert on the process under review. This person is particularly useful if the intent of the audit is to recommend the implementation of the system in which the person is an expert, since he or she can offer valuable implementation tips to the local management team in regard to installing the system. Once the audit is over, the audit team disbands, with the specialist returning to his or her business unit. This person may be used again at a later date, or the internal auditors can learn enough from the specialist to take that person’s ...

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