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Lean Auditing: Driving Added Value and Efficiency in Internal Audit by James C. Paterson

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9 The Audit Plan: Taking a Value Approach

Since becoming a CAE in 2002, I have found internal audit planning to be an increasingly interesting and important topic. It is the process by which audit resources are allocated for the years or months ahead. It is also one of the key ways in which the budget for the audit function is decided. Over the course of my career as a CAE my approach to audit planning has evolved significantly, not least because of lean ways of working. When I began consulting and training I started running workshops looking at audit planning with CAEs and senior audit managers. Over nearly five years we examined issues such as:

  • How should managers and stakeholders be engaged in the audit planning process?
  • What is a good audit planning process, and how much time and effort should it take?
  • How to determine whether the audit plan is a good one?

From a lean perspective these questions can be translated into:

  • Who should be the suppliers and customers of the audit plan?
  • What is a streamlined, waste free, audit-planning process?
  • Is this the most value adding audit plan?

In relation to the last point, it is important to note that, from a lean perspective, the test is not simply “Is this a valuable audit plan?” – which is probably true of many audit plans – but rather: “Is this the most value adding audit plan, with an appropriate allocation of resources?”

This question links back to the discussion about the role of internal audit in the last chapter: Is the ...

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