Internal Audit

Internal Audit « Back to Glossary Index

A glossary on internal audit is a valuable resource that compiles and defines essential terms and concepts in the field of internal auditing. It aids professionals and learners in comprehending the terminology associated with financial oversight and internal audit practices..

What is an internal audit? A Detailed Guide

Internal audit refers to the company’s internal independent controls for operations like corporate governance and accounting processes. These types of audits guarantee consent with laws and regulations in order to sustain accuracy and timely reporting and data collection. Internal audits provide the team with the necessary tools in order to receive operational efficiency by checking out problems and lapses before they are seen in the external audit.

Comprehensive idea: How does Internal audit work?         

Internal audit plays an important role in a company’s operation and governance, helping a firm manage risk, guard against potential fraud, waste, and abuse, and verify that it confirms with laws and regulations. The outcomes of internal audits include management recommendations for changes to existing processes that are not working as intended. These processes may include supply-chain management and information technology systems.

Types of internal audit      

A company may choose an internal audit for many reasons, like an internal financial audit, operational audit, compliance audit, environmental audit, IT audit, or a special one-time circumstance.


Compliance Audit              

Companies have to follow regional laws, compliance requirements, governmental rules, outside policies, or other limitations. A business may ask an internal audit committee to investigate, gather pertinent data, and offer an overall assessment of the compliance need in order to show conformity with these rules.

Internal Financial Audit       

Public firms must carry out specific degrees of external financial auditing when a totally impartial third party renders an opinion on the company’s financial records. In order to prepare for an external audit, companies should choose to dig deeper into audit findings or conduct an internal financial audit. Internal and external auditors may perform many of the same tests, but independence distinguishes the two types of audits for financial audits.

Environmental Audit

Some businesses or companies examine their impact on the environment as they grow more environmentally conscious overall. This leads to an internal audit that looks at how a business acquires raw materials securely, reduces greenhouse gas emissions during production, uses eco-friendly distribution techniques, and uses less energy. Internal environmental audits may be conducted by businesses utilizing triple-bottom-line reporting as part of annual reporting.

Technology/IT Audit

Various goals may be set for an IT audit. A company complaint, an external litigation, or a desire to improve efficiency may have prompted the internal audit. A technology-focused internal audit inspects the systems’ controls, hardware, software, security, documentation, and backup and recovery procedures. The objective is probably to evaluate generic IT processing and accuracy skills.

Operational Audit

When important staff members depart or when new management takes over an organization, an operational audit is most likely to happen. The company may wish to examine its processes to see if resources may be used more effectively. During an operational internal audit, the auditor will ensure that present personnel and procedures support a company’s values, mission, and goals.


Construction Audit

Construction audits can be carried out by development, operational, real estate, or construction firms to verify proper project billing throughout the project’s life as well as proper building development. This primarily entails adhering to the requirements of any contracts with the general contractor, subcontractors, or independent vendors that may be required.

Performance Audit       

An internal audit with a performance focus is more concerned with the outcome than the processes. The business will probably have established performance benchmarks or metrics that could be connected to bonuses or other incentives. An internal auditor, therefore, evaluates the success of an objective that might not be readily quantified.


Internal vs. external audit

Showing some of the points of how Internal Audits are differentiated by External audit

H3: Internal Audits

  • An organization is able to choose its own internal audit team lead and members.
  • Team members don’t require any of the particular titles or licenses 
  • Integral team members are allowed to use the audit reports in order to improve the company’s operations
  • Internal audits possess an informal structure as the auditor is in a very casual tone

External audits

  • An organization is able to choose its own internal audit firm, but not the team members.
  • As a part of the audit agreement, team members of the audit team must require particular titles or licenses.
  • To fulfil the desired outcome, external parties only use audit reports.
  • External audits have the power to disown the services with the defined boundaries.


The process of internal audit       

In general, internal auditors choose a department, learn about the current internal control process, conduct fieldwork testing, follow up with department staff about identified issues, prepare an official audit report, go over the report with management, and then follow up with management and the board of directors as necessary to make sure recommendations have been implemented.

Step1: Planning

Before any audit process starts, the auditors often develop the requirements, objectives, timeline and schedule, which is shared among the audit team members. With this, auditors need to share the checklists to verify that the team members follow the instructions without facing any hurdles and can achieve the end results.

The planning at this stage helps the team members kick off the desired target, providing the initial information needed.

Step2: Auditing

Numerous of the auditing procedures used by internal check-ups are the same as external auditors. Some companies might use nonstop check-ups to ensure ongoing oversight of company practices. Assessment ways ensure an internal adjudicator gathers a full understanding of the internal control procedures and whether workers are complying with internal control directives. 

Step3: Reporting

Reporting includes a formal report or may include a primary or memo-style interim report. As the interim report generally includes sensitive or significant results, the adjudicator thinks the board of directors needs to know right down. 

Step4: Monitoring

The last step of the internal audit may specify that additional actions be taken after a specified period of time to confirm that the necessary post-close audit modifications were made. When the final audit is delivered, agreeing on the specifics and procedure for these monitoring and review processes is common.


The 5c’s of internal audit reports

One should keep in mind that internal audit reports are often slicked to the 5c’s reporting requirement. An entire audit report usually ends with a detailed summary report that answers all the questions-

1) Criteria

Why is it important? What particular issues have been identified? Is the audit report prepared for the future? All things come to the criteria section

2) Condition

what led to this situation was that the company had a broken policy, which the team members didn’t meet, and the company was sure that there were no issues.

3) Cause

Why did this issue arise, what processes were missed, who all are involved, and how can the cause be solved

4) Consequence

What is the solution to the problem? Is there any risk of external consequences, or are they limited at the external point? What is the importance of this issue?

5) Corrective action

 What the organization can do to resolve this issue? What are the corrective points to be taken, and lastly, what type of monitoring solutions are required to resolve this solution

Why internal audits are Important?

Some may suppose internal audits aren’t as precious as external audits. After all, a company may hand-pick its own internal auditors who don’t have full independence from the company. Still, internal audits provide and give value to the company in numerous ways and can be more effective about what to explore.

Internal audits may save companies money

If a company’s processes are very strong, the external audit process may not be as long as intensive, thereby reducing the external audit fee and time spent supporting external auditors.

The Company upgrades its control environment 

Even if the internal audit yields no findings, employees may be aware that their work gets analyzed and reported on, thereby motivating adherence to company policy.

Internal audits may make companies more efficient

External audits are often not intended to improve processes; they are meant to review whether processes are accurate.

Internal audit reports give management a kick-start to make corrections

Instead of having to conflict when an external audit finds a deficiency, management can take longer to think through solutions, implement the solution with care, and review whether the solution worked.

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