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

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15–8. Complete All Internal Audit Work Papers in the Field

The objective of an internal audit is to complete a report that describes any control issues found. However, one would think that, from the perspective of the internal audit team, the objective would be to move on to the next internal audit as quickly as possible. There is a preference among internal auditors to continually meet the upcoming schedule to work on the next audit, rather than to complete the one currently being conducted. This results in a long trail of incomplete audits that requires constant badgering by senior management to complete, frequently requiring weekend work by the internal audit teams. To avoid this problem, the standard procedure for all internal audits should be that the work papers be fully completed in the field before an internal audit team is allowed back to the main office or to proceed to the next audit. Work paper completion should include the clearing of all points that arose during the audit, as well as producing the draft report. If this results in delays in the completion of subsequent internal audits, then fine—it will also yield much more rapid completion of the final audit reports, which was the objective when the audits were scheduled. This point can be made to the audit teams more convincingly by issuing a small bonus for all the internal audits that are wrapped up in the field.

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