The following steps offer some advice on preparing for an audit. This guidance is designed to make our audit process run more smoothly, minimize the amount of time we are on-site, limit the disruption to your operations and increase the likelihood of our work providing reliable outcomes. The information outlined below gives some guidance on the steps that you can take before we start the audit:
• We're on the same team!! Cooperation on the part of the client and auditor are essential to a successful audit. In conducting planned audits, our purpose is to identify opportunities for improvement, which are in the best interests of both the University and the area being audited.
• Assemble appropriate and current background information about your unit that you think might help us with the review. As a general guide, our work is focused upon the aims and objectives identified in your strategic plan so copies of the plan would be helpful. Other information might typically include any key procedures or policies, organization charts and financial information such as budgets and sample management reports. Copies of these documents are particularly helpful.
• If your area has been audited in the past by our division, it is worth reviewing the last audit report. A standard feature of our approach is to review the progress of past recommendations. It is also useful if you can make us aware of, or provide us with the information of any other reviews or inspections that have taken place in your unit.
• Assign temporary workspace to the auditor(s) within reasonable proximity to the office staff and records since many of the original documents and records we will need to examine are located at the local department level. We will attempt to perform as much of the audit as possible from our office so as to minimize any disruption of your operations.
• Prior to starting an audit we hold a planning meeting with you to identify the scope of the audit. This meeting covers the key areas of the audit relating to its objectives. You may want to consider which staff should be present. In particular, we often find it helpful for someone at the meeting to provide us with an overview of the unit’s work.
• Identify an ‘audit contact’ person who can act as a liaison person to work with us. This member of staff should be responsible for ensuring that we have access to records and files or any other resources we need to complete our reviews as well as directing us to the appropriate personnel who can help us complete specific areas of our review. This person normally acts as our main point of contact as the audit progresses so that we can continue to keep you informed of how the work is going.
• Tell your staff about the audit. As part of our planning, we provide you with the scope and objectives of the audit. By notifying the affected unit, they will know to expect us to be around the unit and have an idea of the type of work we will be undertaking. It also helps those staff that we need to contact to identify the sort of records and information that they need to have available when we meet with them.
• Please note that these are only general steps recommended to prepare for an audit. We recognize that specific steps and information requests that are unique to your unit will be identified and communicated to you as part of the initial contact and planning meeting with us.
• Finally, please ask us if you have any doubts or queries about the work that we will be doing or are planning to do. We would like this to be a pleasant and informed experience as possible.