Internal audits are a review of a company’s operations using staff members or a professional accountant from a public accounting firm. These audits are primarily for management review to ensure compliance for operational and financial functions. The final result of an audit is usually an official report containing specific information relating to the audit and fieldwork conducted by auditors. Publicly held companies may release these reports to their shareholders if required to do so by company policy.
List the individuals for whom the report is intended. Audit reports should always list the owner, board member or director who will review the report.
Write an introductory paragraph. This paragraph will include the company’s name, division or department included in the audit. Other information may include what particular financial or operational documents were in the audit and the responsibility of each party.
Create a scope paragraph relating to the audit. The scope paragraph includes information about the application of national accounting standards, assurance that the information is free from error and the supporting documents or assessments made from the information.
Give an opinion on the company’s information. Opinions will either be unqualified, qualified, disclaimer or adverse. Unqualified means the auditor has no reservation on the information, qualified means a material misstatement exists, disclaimer reports indicates the auditor did not conduct a full audit and adverse opinions means the auditor has significant reservations about the company.
Auditors may have more latitude when writing internal audit reports if they are only for the company’s management. Reports can include more information relating to internal control violations, work flow errors or a lack of segregation of duties. This will provide more information for manager’s when making corrective decisions.
Failing to include the standard amount of information in an audit report can create dangerous legal situations for an auditor. Because outside stakeholders rely on this report, failure to disclose inaccurate information can result in the auditor being called into question about his actions.
- Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images