Internal audit is an objective, third-party assurance and compliance-focused activity designed to enhance the organization’s internal operations and add value to the business. It helps an organization achieve its organizational goals by introducing a systematic, structured, methodical approach to evaluate, assess, review, and enhance the effectiveness of control, risk management, and management of information systems. Its main goals are to identify potential risks, evaluate those risks and their impacts on the organization, review controls and procedures, and to provide information for management’s use to reduce, eliminate, or manage these risks.
The most fundamental objective of the internal audit process is to increase the overall effectiveness of the organization by identifying and evaluating risks and identifying ways to reduce them. It includes a variety of activities that are designed to increase organizational efficiency by using a more effective risk-based approach to risk control, risk assessment and risk management. Internal audit best practices provide information and assurance about the processes, procedures, and controls in place, including how they affect business objectives, cost, and performance.
There are four levels of Internal Audit Best Practices. At the very least, the audit process aims to establish: A. Processes, controls, procedures, and policies of the organization that are designed and used to provide effective protection and control of the organization’s financial, human, physical, and information resources. B. Procedures, controls, and policies of the organization that are designed and used to provide appropriate oversight of the management and employees of the organization.
C. Control systems that ensure the appropriate processing, maintenance, reporting, and analysis of the data and information needed by the organization to meet its goals. D. Policies and procedures that provide reasonable assurance about the accuracy and reliability of the information and data that are processed, maintained, or reported by the organization. E. A system that provides management with the tools necessary to review and evaluate the results of the management review and evaluation of the data and information provided by the organization to support the organization’s goals.
Each of the four stages of the internal audit procedure must be thoroughly reviewed and analyzed to identify risks that may exist and to establish a process by which the organization can manage those risks. This involves identifying areas of weakness, reviewing management’s approach to risk, determining if there is a need for changes, and conducting risk assessments to identify potential issues and their impact on the organization’s ability to protect and control the organization’s resources. Internal audit certification identifies the methods and tools that are used to monitor the performance of the risk-based control system and that are critical to controlling and monitoring risk and to enhance the organization’s effectiveness.
The audit certification process requires the following steps: An audit report must be prepared for all risks identified during the internal audit procedure. An audit report should contain recommendations for improving the internal audit certification system.
After the risks are identified, an audit report should be provided to management to support the recommendations. Management should follow the recommendations of the audit report by developing appropriate controls and procedures to address these risks and implement controls and procedures for addressing the identified risks. Management should consider making changes to the internal audit process to strengthen the internal audit procedure and its control and reporting requirements. Internal audit best practices assure that the internal audit process is being used properly to support and maintain the security, effectiveness, and efficiency of the internal audit process. Internal audit certification is critical to maintaining the integrity of the internal audit procedures and system.
By improving the internal audit procedure, management can improve the audit best practices. to include the following six areas: Identifying and evaluating risks, enhancing internal control, improving internal audit certification, improving management’s ability to control and monitor the risks, assessing and reporting results, and enhancing the internal audit system.