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

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15–4. Track Audit Results through Business Unit Surveys

Though auditors must sometimes issue adverse opinions about the state of process controls at a corporate business unit, this does not lead to long-lasting or friendly relations with those business units, which has ramifications in terms of cooperation from the business units when follow-up audits are conducted at a later date.

Some of these adversarial circumstances can be avoided through the use of business unit surveys in which the unit managers are given the opportunity to review audit performance in terms of their perceived relevance, value of recommendations made, accuracy of audit findings, and so on. If a survey results in excessively poor scores, the internal audit manager can meet with the unit manager to gain clarification about the issues, which may result in steps to improve auditing goals, processes, or staffing. By continually obtaining survey results and acting upon them, the internal audit department can align its mission more closely with that of the business units, resulting in greater value to the business units. This approach can also be used as an ancillary rating measure for internal audit staff performance, as well as a method for determining which unit managers need to be dealt with more carefully during upcoming audits.

The results of these surveys should be stored and tracked on a trend line for several ...

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