Podcast: Why obsessing over report writing makes sense

Liz Sandwith, our Chief Professional Practices Advisor, speaks to Heena Patel, Groupwide Strategy and Operations for Internal Audit at RSA, who, following a sustained period of transformation within RSA’s internal audit activity, opens up about their journey to providing insightful audit reports.

Patel explains that “freedom within a framework” is an important cultural variable to getting the best out talented people who work within a team. She explains how RSA’s business now pulls on internal audit in a positive way and “that is down to the right people and giving them the freedom to get to the right outcome.” Their approach was to focus on key obsessions, to get into the heart and minds of the team; one of those being report writing.

Training from an experienced copywriter helps with the fundamentals of messaging but Patel keenly points out the features of insightful reporting writing are about stakeholder interactions, identifying themes and signposting emerging risks, saying that “it’s about finding those burning embers or where the smoke is starting rather than when the building is on fire.”

As part of the transformation, Patel explains how the team structure and methodology were adapted to support and enable more effective audit outcomes, including the direct governance linkages within the report “so that if risks are accepted then they are well discussed and transparent at the right levels.”…