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

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15–20. Create an Auditor Skills Matrix

Not all auditors are created equal. Some have a considerable degree of training in specific types of computer systems, others have great operational experience, while still others come from the more classical “school” of external audit firms; furthermore, some have garnered experience with particular types of business units or processes over the years. Unfortunately, these differing skill bases are sometimes ignored when assigning auditors to specific audits, resulting in mismatches of skills and required work. This in turn can result in incomplete audits or ones whose results are not sufficiently specific, detailed, or helpful to the recipient.

A solution is the creation of an auditor skills matrix. In its simplest form, this is just a collection of auditor resumes that is regularly updated after each audit. However, such a collection is not easily searched for specific skill types, and so is only useful when there are very few internal auditors on staff. A much better approach is to itemize these skills in a database that is easily searched based on key words. This allows an audit manager to punch the key requirements of an upcoming audit into the database and instantly receive back a list of those auditors most qualified to complete the work. The key issue with a skills database is that it requires constant updating, since auditor skills are constantly improving through training and new audits. Consequently, someone must be assigned the ...

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