How can I improve my audit plan

Internal audit: requirements for effective use


The internal audit department provides independent and objective auditing and consulting services on behalf of the company management. The focus is on improving business processes. But in order for the internal audit to be successful, the prerequisites must first be created.

The revision work is intended to reveal errors and weaknesses in various processes. Because only when weak points are identified can optimization be carried out. Jörg Berwanger and Stefan Kullmann describe in their book "Internal Auditing" that first of all the company management is required to create the prerequisites for a successful activity in order to use internal auditing.

Comprehensive examination rights

If you consider that it is the task of internal auditing to uncover errors and weaknesses, it is hardly surprising that the auditor is not necessarily a welcome guest in the company departments concerned. But the authors expressly point out that the most essential right of the revision must be to be able to examine comprehensively everywhere. Systematic blind spots are not acceptable. Correspondingly, the company management must provide the auditors with this right to audit. For particularly sensitive cases, the authors recommend using an external auditing company with strict instructions from the head of the audit department.

Active and passive right to information

"Nobody feels the urge to reveal themselves to the revision" - this is how Berwanger and Kullmann describe. Here, however, the company management and especially the CFO are required to integrate the audit into all information flows that are relevant to the company. Controlling and internal auditing must work together. This cooperation can be actively promoted by the CFO. This means that all reporting channels, in particular from the areas of accounting, controlling, finance and taxes, must also be made available to auditors.

Internal audit in the organization

Where is the internal audit to be located in organizational terms? Here the authors take the view that internal auditing must report directly to a person (usually the chairman of the board of directors). It is important here: The audit manager needs a good connection to this person, because he needs the trust of the management.

Revision plan

The head of the audit must submit an audit plan. The planning is usually risk-oriented. The authors of the book "Internal Audit" provide further important information on the risk plan and the duties of the head of auditing.