Creating the audit plan

“The essence of strategy is choosing what not to do” according to management guru Michael Porter. This is the dilemma of audit leaders when creating the audit plan.

Do you make an informed choice about your audit plan, follow a routine or roll with the flow trusting it will all come together in the end? We ask you to take five minutes to consider the value of dual planning, dovetailing long and short term to add significant value to your organisation.

We explore the concept of audit planning at both a strategic and tactical level.
Audit time is valuable. How do you make the most of yours?

Fail to plan – plan to fail

It’s an old adage because it’s true.
Having no plan is like using a satnav without entering a destination, you might know which road you are on but not where it is in relation to where you want to get to.

There are different levels of planning; strategic and tactical. Strategically, internal audit has transitioned from its image of the corporate policeman to that of a trusted advisor – a different vision, set of skills and relationships. This change enabled a shift of tactical activity from compliance and financial controls based engagements to risk-based auditing a more balanced suite of engagement including operational, project, strategic and cultural audits.

Is past tense right? Have all audit leaders transitioned? Perhaps only those that have embraced the need to plan for strategic change ahead of tactical.

  Strategic Plan Annual Plan
Focus Strategic Tactical
Scope Significant, large-scale initiatives at organisational level High priority risks, business change, developments, governance, legal and regulatory compliance
Purpose Support organisational objectives, effective governance and continuous improvement To form an annual opinion on the effectiveness of internal control through the provision of objective assurance
Timescales Typically…