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

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16 Assignment Follow-Up and Follow On

In the last chapter I discussed ways in which audit functions can drive through assignments so that they deliver valued outputs (in the form of briefings or written reports that make a positive difference). However, strictly speaking, real value add from a lean perspective is not achieved until action items have actually been implemented in the organization (at which point they may then be adding value to key stakeholders and/or external customers).

COMMON PRACTICE AND IIA STANDARDS OF NOTE

Standard practice for audit, and as set out in the IIA’s standards, is that they should play a role in keeping track of “the disposition of results”.

COMMON CHALLENGES & DILEMMAS

The best audit functions will regard their involvement in keeping track of the remediation of open points as a relatively straightforward matter, taking up only a minimum amount of time. However a number of audit functions I have worked with experience issues in relation to keeping track of remediation and following up open points. The most notable challenges appear to be:

Audit is Expected to Drive the Process for Tracking Remediation

Some audit functions find they spend a lot of time notifying management of up and coming remediation deadlines, and chase them for comments as well as adjusting deadlines if these are not going to be met. In some cases this is recorded in audit software and in others it is recorded in a spreadsheet, absorbing quite a lot of time for an administrator ...

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