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

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12 Assignments – Types, Scheduling and Resourcing

In the last three chapters I have outlined some of the key principles and practices required to create a risk and assurance based audit plan that aims to deliver the maximum value. However, before considering how to plan specific audit assignments, there is an important interim step to consider: how to schedule and resource the audit plan in a way that maximizes added value and minimizes waste. Key points to manage include:

  • What sort of assignment is required;
  • How much resource to devote to each assignment;
  • When assignments should be scheduled;
  • How much flexibility to build into the plan to deal with new and ad hoc assignments.

COMMON PRACTICES AND IIA STANDARDS OF NOTE

Common practice is to determine the amount of resource that will be needed to deliver each assignment. This is often based on a standard assignment resourcing allocation (often within a particular range for each individual audit function, which can be anywhere from 5, 10, 20, 40 or even 80+ days).

The current IIA standard (IIAS) 2010 states that the “CAEs must review and adjust the plan, as necessary, in response to changes in the organization’s business, risks, operations, programmes, systems, and controls.” In my experience, CAEs deal with this requirement differently, some filling their plan with assignments up to the resource limit they have, and then notifying stakeholders when changes are needed, whilst others leave a resource buffer so that new and ...

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