How to Report the Results of an Audit

An effective audit allows a company to pinpoint and correct procedural weaknesses. An effective audit report objectively notes findings and offers suggestions for improvement. The auditor details the size of the test group, the testing criteria and the findings. The findings reported should be legitimate and backed up by supporting evidence. When management reviews the findings to prepare a response, the auditor's intent during preparation should be apparent throughout the document. This allows open communication and the opportunity to rectify any procedural weaknesses.

Create a cover page. Include the name of the company, and the department you are auditing. Place the month and year the audit occurred -- not the date you are actually writing the report. For example, if you complete the audit in April 2011, but do not issue the report until July, type April 2011 on the cover.

Address the audit report to the head of the department being reviewed. Copy any applicable lower-tier management.

Write an introduction to the audit. Give background on the department being audited including its function, size and goals.

Outline the objectives of the audit. Include what you were looking for both generally and specifically. For example, your general objective is to ensure effective procedures and controls are in place. Specifically, you may be looking for comprehensive policies, proper approval levels and accurate documentation.

Detail the conclusions you drew from the report. Cite your specific findings in detail. If you note deficiencies in documentation, point out the exact document and clause that is lacking. If a specific procedure is ineffective, note that while providing evidence as to why it doesn’t work.

Make recommendations on the steps management can take to rectify any deficiencies noted.

Provide management the opportunity to respond to the findings in the audit. When you receive the manager’s response, incorporate it into your report.

Acknowledge any departmental staff that assisted you in completing the audit.

Finish by including your contact information. Include your name, title, phone number and email address.