Internal audits evaluate a company’s internal controls, including its corporate governance and accounting processes. These audits ensure compliance with laws and regulations and help to maintain accurate and timely financial reporting and data collection. Internal audits also provide management with the tools necessary to attain operational efficiency by identifying problems and correcting lapses before they are discovered in an external audit.
- An internal audit offers risk management and evaluates the effectiveness of a company’s internal controls, corporate governance, and accounting processes..
- Internal audits provide management and board of directors with a value-added service where flaws in a process may be caught and corrected prior to external audits.
Internal Audit Process
Internal auditors generally identify a department, gather an understanding of the current internal control process, conduct fieldwork testing, follow up with department staff about identified issues, prepare an official audit report, review the audit report with management, and follow up with management and the board of directors as needed to ensure recommendations have been implemented.
Assessment techniques ensure an internal auditor gathers a full understanding of the internal control procedures and whether employees are complying with internal control directives. To avoid disrupting the daily workflow, auditors begin with indirect assessment techniques, such as reviewing flowcharts, manuals, departmental control policies or other existing documentation. If documented procedures are not being followed, direct discussion with department staff may be necessary.