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Harnessing the Power of Continuous Auditing: Developing and Implementing a Practical Methodology

Book Description

Written to help auditors jump start their organization's near real-time financial data monitoring and sharing capabilities, Harnessing the Power of Continuous Auditing provides step-by-step instruction on how to build, market, implement, and manage a successful continuous auditing program.

Taking concept to reality, author and internal audit expert Robert L. Mainardi presents auditors, company executives, business unit managers, practitioners, and consultants with a complete road map to continuous auditing, from start to finish. Beginning with a thorough definition of the subject, Mainardi debunks the various myths surrounding the process including the most common misperception that the internal audit department must have the corresponding automated technology to support it and includes numerous documented proven techniques and instructions for more effective SOX work.

A vital tool to enhance the auditor's skills and abilities, Harnessing the Power of Continuous Auditing's exhaustive coverage includes:

  • The definition of continuous auditing

  • Where to begin

  • Methodology development

  • Preparing for continuous auditing

  • Root cause analysis

  • Action plans

  • Problem-solving tools

  • Lessons learned

  • Selling continuous auditing

  • Conditions and challenges

This all-in-one handbook of practical execution provides much-needed, accessible guidance on everything business professionals need to know to conduct and implement a successful continuous audit in their organizations.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Title Page
  3. Copyright
  4. Dedication
  5. Preface
  6. Acknowledgments
  7. Chapter 1: Defining Continuous Auditing
    1. The Real Definition
    2. Differentiating Continuous Auditing
    3. Segregating Continuous Auditing and Control Testing
    4. Continuous Auditing Objectives
    5. Dispelling the Continuous Auditing Myths
    6. Summary
  8. Chapter 2: Where to Begin
    1. Recognize the Need
    2. Potential Need/Fit Considerations
    3. Client Relationship Score
    4. Summary
  9. Chapter 3: Continuous Auditing Methodology Development
    1. Continuous Auditing Methodology
    2. Methodology Requirements
    3. Summary
  10. Chapter 4: Preparing for a Continuous Audit
    1. Building the Business Knowledge
    2. Developing Business Knowledge
    3. Understanding the Rules
    4. Identifying Technology
    5. Summary
  11. Chapter 5: Continuous Auditing: Foundation Phase
    1. Target Area
    2. Testing Objectives
    3. Frequency
    4. Testing Technique
    5. Summary
  12. Chapter 6: Continuous Auditing: Approach Phase
    1. Approach Phase
    2. Scope
    3. Volumes
    4. Sampling
    5. Testing Criteria and Attributes
    6. Technology
    7. Summary
  13. Chapter 7: Continuous Auditing: Execution Phase
    1. Execution Phase
    2. Performance
    3. Exception Identification
    4. Summarizing Results
    5. Summary
  14. Chapter 8: Root Cause Analysis
    1. Root Cause
    2. Root Cause Defined
    3. Team Understanding
    4. Do I Need to Find Root Cause?
    5. Root Cause “Why” Approach
    6. Root Cause Keys
    7. Summary
  15. Chapter 9: Continuous Auditing Reporting and Next Steps
    1. Reporting and Next Steps
    2. Reporting Options
    3. Advantages and Disadvantages of Report Type
    4. Reporting Options Summary
    5. Five-Component Approach
    6. Next Steps
    7. Summary
  16. Chapter 10: Action Plans
    1. Action Plans
    2. Addressing Root Cause
    3. Creating the Perfect Action
    4. Components of a Real Action Plan
    5. Action Plan Tracking
    6. Summary
  17. Chapter 11: Continuous Auditing Conditions
    1. Conditions
    2. Business Unit Management Conditions
    3. Internal Audit Conditions
    4. Technology Conditions
    5. Summary
  18. Chapter 12: Selling Continuous Auditing
    1. Selling
    2. Business Unit Management
    3. Audit Team
    4. External Clients
    5. Summary
  19. Chapter 13: Continuous Auditing Challenges
    1. Challenges
    2. Internal Audit Department
    3. Client
    4. Summary
  20. Chapter 14: Continuous Auditing Uses and Users
    1. Uses and Users
    2. Uses
    3. Users
    4. Summary
  21. Chapter 15: Continuous Auditing Lessons Learned
    1. Lessons Learned
    2. Developing Technique
    3. Effective Concept
    4. Lessons Learned Template
    5. Summary
  22. Appendix: Continuous Auditing Guidance
    1. Audit Observations
    2. Internal Audit Department: Status of Action Items
    3. Continuous Auditing Methodology Template
    4. Internal Audit Department: Lessons Learned (Suggested Questions)
    5. Continuous Auditing Program Example: Account Reconciliations
  23. About the Author
  24. Index