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

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17 Measuring Performance and Driving Improvements in Audit Ways of Working

In earlier chapters I outlined good practices for both audit planning and assignment delivery and a follow up process that has a focus on maximizing the added value from audit, and on reducing waste. The next stage is to ensure that the audit function has:

  • Measures that enable the audit function to: a) drive efficiency and flow and b) understand the value that is being added; and
  • Measures that clearly communicate this to management and the board; and
  • Measures that are collected as efficiently as possible in terms of time and effort.

COMMON PRACTICES AND IIA STANDARDS OF NOTE

Most audit functions recognize the need to measure their performance and to drive continuous improvement. Performance metrics often include the delivery of the audit plan against budget, how staff time has been used, and – incorrectly in my analysis – the status of issue remediation (discussed in the last chapter).

Improvement initiatives for audit (and associated metrics) vary from case to case, but may include making improvements to staff utilization, making better use of audit software, and training and development for the audit function.

These activities reflect IIA standards that auditors should: “improve their proficiency and the effectiveness and quality of their services”. In addition, the current IIA standards state that internal audit should have a quality assurance and improvement programme, and should submit themselves ...

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