Dubai Entities Keep an Internal Audit Report: Is the average length of internal audit report appropriate? Many people in Dubai and UAE who read audit reports from the boardroom and executive suite find that they are too long. These days, audit reports can be extremely long. One organization’s audit report could easily exceed 100 pages, according to a recent conversation. It is impossible to expect anyone to read a hundred pages from the top management or board members. What is the point of 100 pages of actionable, valuable information in an audit report?
Is the answer ten pages long or twenty? Are there two or three pages? Let’s look at the question from a different angle.
Internal audit firms in Dubai use internal audit reports as a communication tool. The IIA Standards don’t require us to write audit reports. They require us to communicate the results of our work with our stakeholders. The better question is: What should I communicate?
What Will It Take to Stop Hurting?
Do you really need a three-page report when you go to the dentist for a toothache? Most likely not. It is unlikely. When is that possible? Do you have a serious problem? How much will this cost me? It’s not what you want to hear. You expect to be given the right information, concisely written and without any delays.
You can also see “Death of the Audit Report”: It’s time to rethink how to convey internal audit findings. How about your board members and executives? What information would they like to receive from you? They want to know:
Is there an issue that could have a significant impact on the organization’s ability to achieve its goals? Is there something I should be concerned about at my job?
Are you taking the right steps?
Do I have to do anything?
Do I have to do anything to ensure that others do the same?
Hence, why are we adding more? Do we feel the need to justify our existence? internal audit companies in uae and other users of financial statements insist on at least one recommendation and finding in every audit report. Why? Stop if you feel this need or this irrational compulsion. Do you think it’s because the report is a type of documentation or that it’s being written for regulators rather than executive readers? Both are equally incorrect.
The Elevator Version
This is how it looks. Your CEO greets you as soon as you enter the elevator at the company’s headquarters. Your CEO asks about the recent audit of the Treasury function that your team performed. She says she is interested in the results. Tell her the story of the audit. What about your scope? Are you listing all the low and medium issues? Do you tell her if there are major issues worth her attention, if management is taking corrective action, and any other insight that might be of value?
So why not include more information in an audit report? Don’t hide important, actionable information in a maze of irrelevant detail. If an audit report is required, it should not exceed the length of the report.
Most internal audit specialists in Dubai and UAE argue that the report must include all findings to ensure management understands the issues and will correct them. Do the board members and executives need to see this level of detail? These were all discussed at the closing meeting. If not, why not?
You should send a note to all those present at the meeting confirming the discussion as well as the corrective actions details (who will do what, by when, etc.). Keep the information you send to the board and executives to only what they are interested in reading.
It should be easy for them to quickly pick up the reports, understand the information and take any actions that are necessary–now or later. It should be easy for them to understand and take the necessary actions. They will listen more if you aren’t wasting their time on trivia. Let us know what you think. What do you think? Let internal audit firms in Dubai know your thoughts in comments below. Slug at the end of internal audit
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