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Management Concepts

Preparing High-Impact Audit Reports

Available dates

Nov 21—22, 2019
2 days
Washington, District of Columbia, United States
USD 729
USD 364 per day
Feb 18—19, 2020
2 days
Washington, District of Columbia, United States
USD 729
USD 364 per day
Mar 26—27, 2020
2 days
Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States
USD 729
USD 364 per day
+5 more options


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About the course

Government auditors play an important role in determining what and how audit results will be reported. You will gain communication skills and techniques that will enable you to convey critical information and to write effective and meaningful performance and financial audit reports. You will learn to apply best practices for creating impactful reports that resonate with diverse audiences.

Learning Objectives

  • Apply Generally Accepted Government Auditing Standards (GAGAS) in preparing performance and financial audit reports
  • Apply reader-friendly writing techniques such as deductive structure and appropriate tone
  • Avoid typical flaws in paragraph and sentence structure that compromise audit report readability
  • Tailor report segments and sections to knowledge levels and interests of likely readers
  • Maximize audit report effectiveness by writing conclusions and recommendations that resonate with readers, and encourage prompt action
  • Learn techniques to circumvent writer’s block
  • Apply a structured audit report review process to effectively identify flaws in the report draft and reduce potential writer/reviewer conflicts

Course Topics

Financial Audit Reports

  • Basic Report Structure for Financial Statement Audits

Performance Audit Report Standards for Content and Quality

  • Audit Report Standards
  • Performance Audit Report Standards
  • Reporting
  • Report Contents
  • Exercise: Internal Control Exercise
  • Exercise: GAGAS Supplemental "Guidance" on Report Quality
  • Exercise: Standards Review

“Reader-Friendly” Writing Techniques

  • Audience Considerations
  • Benefits of a Deductive Writing Style
  • Advance Organizers Should Assist Readers
  • Correct Report Tone Enhances Message
  • Active Voice Versus Passive Voice
  • Techniques for Cohesive Paragraphs
  • White Space Enhances Readability

The Heart of the Audit Report — Audit Findings and Recommendations

  • Audit Findings: The Report Message
  • Putting Findings in Perspective and Providing Selective Background Information
  • Recommendations Likely to Get Action

Avoiding Common Flaws in Audit Reports

  • Effective Paragraphs
  • Effective Sentences and Grammar

Tools and Techniques for Report Preparation

  • Appropriate Communication throughout the Audit Lays the Groundwork for Action
  • The Finding Schematic: A Key Tool for Planning the Report Message
  • Early Development of Audit Report
  • Effective Use of Outlines
  • Using Conferences to Manage Audit Report Preparation

Enhancing the Report Review Process

  • The Multi-Purpose Role of Report Review
  • A Seven-Step “Model” for Report Review
  • Keeping the Communication Open between Writers and Reviewers
  • Tips for Improving the Review Process
  • Tips for the Editing Process

Who should attend

This course is designed for government auditors playing a role in determining what and how audit results will be reported who are looking to enhance their communication skills or learn new techniques.

Participants tend to be federal auditors or other federal financial management employees involved in performance auditing. Auditors from private auditing or consulting firms will also benefit from taking this course.

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