5 steps to preparing for an audit

The information outlined below gives some guidance on 5 steps that can be taken before the audit starts.

The guidance is designed to make the audit process run more smoothly, minimise the amount of time the auditors need to spend on-site, limit the disruption to University operations and increase the likelihood of the auditors’ work providing reliable outcomes.

1Assemble appropriate and current background information about the unit that might help with the review
This might include the aims and objectives identified in strategic plans; any key procedures or policies; organisation charts; financial information such as budgets risk registers, controls and sample management reports. If information is available on the Web, simply provide the relevant site address. As part of Internal Audit’s responsibility for assessing how well the University’s risks are being managed, they will also need access to your maintained risk register.
2Make the auditors aware of any other reviews or inspections that have taken place in the unit
If the area has been audited in the past, it is worth reviewing the last audit report and the progress of past recommendations. The Finance Division can provide you with a copy of these. Recommendations that were graded as high or medium in previous reports will always be revisited.
3Identify an ‘audit contact’ who can act as a liaison person to work with the auditors
This member of staff should be responsible for ensuring that the auditors have access to records and files or any other resources they need to complete their reviews as well as directing them to, and making appointments with, the appropriate colleagues who can help complete specific areas of the review. If it would be helpful to schedule meetings with the auditors periodically throughout the audit to stay in touch with how things are progressing, this may help facilitate communication, resolve issues on a timely basis, and correct any misunderstandings. Please ensure that the Finance Division is informed of who is identified as the contact.
4Consider which staff should be present at the planning meeting
It is certainly sensible for someone at the meeting to provide the auditors with an overview of the unit’s work.
5Tell staff about the audit, and any other staff who might be involved, especially if they are part of another team

It is useful to distribute a copy of the scoping letter to key staff so that they have an idea of the type of work to be undertaken. It also helps them identify the sort of records and information that they need to have available when the auditors come.

The auditors will advise during the planning meeting if there are any specific steps or information that they will need that are specific to the audit


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