CM-101 GETTING THE MESSAGE ACROSS: WRITING EFFECTIVE CONCISE AUDIT REPORTS

CM-101 GETTING THE MESSAGE ACROSS: WRITING EFFECTIVE CONCISE AUDIT REPORTS

DESCRIPTION

Well-written audit reports can be the difference between an audit group that is perceived as adding value and one that merely exists as required compliance. Unfortunately, delivering audit reports that contain objective-driven, direct, concise, evidence-backed information continues to be a challenge for even the most seasoned internal auditors. Audit reports often fail to deliver the intended message for a multitude of reasons, including their length, lack of a clear objective, overabundance of audit lingo and terminology, buried or lost messages, and not understanding the needs of audience.

 

This interactive course will address the challenges commonly associated with audit report writing and teach the skills that will ensure your audit reports will be read and your message received as intended.  Finally, this course presents the Two-Page Audit Report methodology, which provides a format and formula that ensures your audit reports get read and understood by any audience, including across the highest levels of the organization.

LEARNING OBJECTIVES:

  • Identifying what constitutes a bad report, a good report and an excellent report
  • Fully understanding the audience and their needs
  • Aligning reporting objectives with business objectives
  • How to properly plan the report
  • The Two-Page Audit Report—your readers will thank you
  • Using executive summaries
  • Using appendices and attachments to reduce length
  • Learn effective editing and proofreading

 

COURSE OUTLINE

Understanding the Difference Between Good, Bad, and Excellent reports

  • Report characteristics
  • Good, bad, ugly, and excellent reports
  • Report organization and why it matters
  • Determining content
  • Presentation styles and how to choose
  • Visual presentation

Setting Objectives

  • Defining objectives – planning the audit and the report
  • Aligning audit objectives with business objectives
  • Ensuring audit report objectives continue to align with business and audit objectives
  • Understanding your audience
  • Understanding how the report will be used

The Two-Page Audit Report

  • Concise report delivery for executives and board members
  • How to determine what to include and exclude
  • Focusing on the business and not the audit work
  • Presentation styles for concise reports
  • Tools, tips, and techniques for concise reports

Executive Summaries

  • What makes the cut?
  • Determining the level of detail and support
  • Using language targeted to executives
  • Length and presentation style

Creating the Report

  • Starting with the 5Cs
  • Designing an assembly process – Organization and layout
  • Using appendices and attachments
  • Report formats
  • Visual reporting
  • Virtual reporting

Writing Skills and Techniques

  • Focus and framing of topic—business perspective
  • Developing key points
  • Eliminating audit lingo and using business language
  • Editing versus proofreading
  • Grammar, spelling, and punctuation
  • Concise and concrete yet compelling language
  • Editing—when enough is enough
Duration

CPE

Delivery

Field

Level

Who Should Attend

Prerequisites

Advanced Preparation

2 Days

16

Group-Live

Auditing

Intermediate

Internal auditor staff and management of all levels

Professionals with at least 2 years of experience

None