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Audit Tips

10 Questions to Consider When Drafting Audit Recommendations

Drafting effective recommendations is a challenging task that requires much thought, discussion, and professional judgment. To ensure that their recommendations will lead to positive change, auditors can ask themselves the following questions at the drafting stage:

Audit Tip 1

Is the recommendation addressed to the right organization (that is, the one that can actually implement it and make change happen)?

Audit Tip 2

Is the recommendation aimed at the root cause of the issue or at its symptoms? (See our discussion paper on Root Cause Analysis for guidance on this topic.)

Audit Tip 3

Is the recommendation consistent with the audit observations and with recommendations made in previous audit reports, where applicable?

Audit Tip 4

Is the recommendation focused on an area of significant risk?

Audit Tip 5

Is the recommendation succinct but detailed enough to stand alone?

Audit Tip 6

Is the recommendation worded in such a way that it is not too prescriptive? (That is, the auditees retain the flexibility to decide the best means of implementing the recommendation.)

Audit Tip 7

What is the cost and feasibility of implementing the proposed action? Are there alternative courses of remedial action that would be easier to implement or be more affordable?

Audit Tip 8

Can the recommendation be implemented within a reasonable time?

Audit Tip 9

What would be the impact on results, both positive and negative, if the recommendation were adopted?

Audit Tip 10

Could successful implementation of the recommendation be reasonably determined in a follow-up audit?

In addition, auditors can inform their decisions on audit recommendations by seeking the audited organization’s views on the actions that would be necessary to correct the identified deficiencies. By discussing audit recommendations with audited organizations before the completion of audit reports, auditors can increase the likelihood that their recommendations will be implemented and will lead to positive change.

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For information on how audit institutions measure the impact of their audit recommendations, read our Discussion Paper The Impact of Performance Audits: Defining, Measuring, and Reporting Impact.


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