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How to Write Effective Audit Observations: The Principles for Bullet Proofing Your Audit Findings

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Before starting this self study program, please go through the instructional document.

The topic is also scheduled as live webinar on the following dates

Dec 13, 2021 | 10:00 AM EST Register


  • Audit observation process
    7 mins
  • Condition
    29 mins
  • Cause
    35 mins
  • Corrective action
    52 mins
  • Audit findings headlines
    62 mins

Course Description

Preparing for and conducting an audit are the initial components of the audit process; writing a good audit report is the final step. Communicating the results of an audit is just as important as performing it. However, auditors are often frustrated when their audit reports are not taken seriously or used effectively because they do not provide meaningful information.

Even the best-planned audit will do little good if results are not effectively communicated to the audit client to make the needed fixes. This online CPE course will discuss how to write audit observations so that whether it’s used internally or externally, the audit report conveys the proper information.

The key to writing an effective audit observation is having a comprehensive structured process. The Institute of Internal Auditors recommends a process known as the 5Cs:

  • Criteria
  • Condition
  • Cause
  • Consequences (Effect)
  • Corrective Action (Recommendation)

As you develop conclusions, findings, and recommendations, you must present them to your client in a logical, complete, and objective way.  This process provides an easy way to consistently develop and present your observations in a timely manner.  The components in this process include all the information you will need to inform and persuade.  It allows you to present your findings to your reader in a logical, complete, and objective manner and, thus, enhances the chances of the client’s buy-in and their agreement to your recommendations.

This process can also serve as a basis for review by audit supervisors and managers.  It is supported by your workpapers and gives complete and clear details of your analysis and the basis for your findings.

Writing audit observations effectively brings issues to management’s attention that needs to be addressed. How well you communicate that information is critical to getting the results you are seeking.

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Learning Objectives

  • To discuss the five components of an effective audit observation
  • To discuss examples of each component
  • To describe the relevant IIA Standards 
  • To determine the needed information for adequate follow-up
  • To determine the importance of observation headlines

Who Should Attend?

  • Accountant
  • Accounting and audit managers/practitioners
  • Auditors
  • Certified Public Accountant
  • Chartered Professional Accountant
  • CPA (Industry)
  • CPA - Large Firm
  • CPA - Mid Size Firm
  • CPA - Small Firm
  • Forensic Auditor
  • Fraud & Forensic Auditor
  • Young CPA