Process owners often ask us what the auditors are going to ask them during the walk-through. These are the top 6 questions to keep in mind as you prepare for a walk-through with your auditors.
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Question #1: How do you do your review or approval?
Answer: In this case you are going to show it on screen, or you are going to show a document of some sort, and you are going to point to the different elements:
Whatever it is that you are looking for in your element, that is what the auditors are looking to hear from you.
Question #2: What written evidence do you have of the review or approval?
Answer: This can include an email, a message in Slack, a form in DocuSign, it can be something that’s in the system and timestamped, or it can be a workflow of some sort. The auditors will want written evidence to show that the control works and that you used that control.
Question #3: What is the dollar threshold of the review?
Answer: If you are checking to see if a dollar threshold is reasonable, they will ask you how you know if it is reasonable or not. They will ask about the amount you look at, e.g., do you look at something that is $1000, or do you identify something that is $5000, $10,000 off? They want to know how closely you review the amount, the report, or the totals.
Question #4: What are the key reports, or key data input, used for this control?
Answer: You can answer this by showing them how you run a report out of a system, e.g., NetSuite, Salesforce.com or the HRIS system. Sometimes the source is a manual report, e.g., you type something up in Excel.
Question #5: How do you know the report is complete?
Answer: If you are using a system report, or a source document, you need to show how you confirm it is complete. You can do this by showing that you can agree the total back to the trial balance, or you can tie it back to a report. You will look at the report parameter (e.g., check that the date goes from the 1st to the 31st). Or you can do a count – if there are supposed to be 20 items on this report, you can show that there are 20.
Question #6: How do you know the report is accurate?
Answer: You can tell your auditors that when you review the report you agree it back to the source document, you agree it back to a contract, or you agree it back to a signed document. Describe the way you triangulate your report back to the sources to confirm that whatever is coming out of a system is accurate.