A three stage approach
Preparatory work to understand the risks facing the trust and to assess the financial health of the organisation, and to agree timescales and milestones.
An initial visit to review key systems and controls in place to mitigate risks, to understand the control environment. Following this stage an audit plan is prepared, which focusses on areas of risk.
Final Audit Visit and Completion
The final audit takes place in accordance with the agreed plan. Any issues are fed back to management in a timely manner and deadlines met in good time. We pride ourselves in providing value added recommendations via our annual letter to management.
Our philosophy is to direct audit resource to those areas that are considered higher risk and over which management require specific assurance and support. In order to achieve this, our approach to the audit places strong emphasis on planning. We liaise with each client to develop a clear, agreed audit strategy plan, setting out:
- Deliverables and timescales
- Information required by the client
- A summary of audit approach, our risk assessment and proposed response
- Reporting arrangements
- Key contacts
Audit is a continuous process and the key to a successful service is effective communication, in order that all parties are aware of the issues, their responsibilities and have clear deliverables. We would expect to have communication with the senior management of the trust throughout the year. Through this regular contact with the trust, our review of the strategic plan and risk register and our knowledge of issues in the sector, we maintain an understanding of the key risks faced by the trust.
Our underlying methodology requires us to document our understanding of the trust’s controls and risk management framework as part of our audit procedures. It also involves a review of the effectiveness of risk management and governance on an annual basis in order to gather evidence to support our opinion on the financial statements and our report to the audit committee.
Quality is integral to the way we work by setting rigorous standards to ensure we achieve quality objectives in areas such as recruitment, training, performance review, professional development and supervision. We have developed detailed specific audit programmes in support of our external audit in the academy sector to ensure compliance with the relevant auditing standards.