How to shift from ‘common practices’ to ‘best practices’
Audit working papers serve as important reference points for the entire audit lifecycle, providing Chief Audit Executives (CAEs), independent audit firms, and risk and control consultants with a baseline of vital audit documentation and intelligence. Despite their strategic value, many organizations approach this critical audit function with a ‘check-list-type-philosophy,’ driven by tactical and often manual project management processes. Further, standards for exactly what must be included in working papers or how they are prepared are loosely defined, resulting in inconsistent practices and quality issues among audit departments.
This paper explores common issues with traditional working papers methods and how to overcome them. It also provides three practical steps for establishing best practices for working papers management and closing the Audit Performance Gap.