Audit Programs – It’s all in the ingredients

Is your audit program “just good enough” could it be “better”? Some fall down a rabbit hole when evaluating audit programs by focusing on little things simply due to the unknown. Focusing too much of your analysis on how much time it will take to re-create your audit programs is an example.

Accounting firms looking at CCH ProSystem fx Knowledge Coach are sometimes concerned about the time it will take to “re-create” their audit programs. The way firms tend to think is that they need to match what they did in their previous audit solution. That approach simply ends up with unnecessary steps included though. Why? Because Knowledge Coach is different. Like its name, the solution “coaches” its users to create an audit plan that allows them to work smarter.

The process is completely different in Knowledge Coach. You actually are not “re-creating” audit programs. Instead, you are designing them. The only steps you select from the Knowledge Coach program’s step library are ones that will let you:

  1. Do the right level of work
  2. Based on the risks at the company you are auditing

What a refreshing concept! Knowledge Coach’s process is very simple and fast, and it does require the auditor to think about the work they are planning to do, in relation to the risks they have identified.

Making an Omelet – An Audit Programs Analogy 

An analogy may help to illustrate the concept. Compliments of a regional sales consultant at Wolters Kluwer, we will not name him but we will share that he loves to cook.  His “making an omelet” analogy is both creative and easy to understand. So, for a minute, imagine you are making an omelet.

With a Knowledge Coach competitor, like PPC for example, your instructions for making an omelet are to get everything out of the refrigerator and lay it all out on the counter. Remember to get every utensil, every pot and every pan out too. After everything is on the counter in front of you, your next instructions are to use only what you think you need to make the omelet – and so you wind up with a large pile of things that were not even applicable.

On the other hand, with CCH ProSystem fx Knowledge Coach you are asked, “Is this the first time you have made an omelet?” Based on whether your answer is yes or no, you will get different guidance. Egg whites or whole eggs? You will get a list of exactly what you need from the fridge. Ladle or spatula? You will get a list of exactly what you need from the utensil drawer. Cookie sheet or frying pan? You will get a list of exactly what you need from the cabinet. What you can rest assured on is this: You will not get too many ingredients and you will not be missing anything with Knowledge Coach!

Better than Good Enough

So how do you get your brain to align with the analogy and avoid falling down rabbit holes that will end up leaving you with “just good enough” instead of “better?” Start by asking yourself these questions regarding your current audit process.

  • How do you design your audit programs now?
  • How many steps are you simply marking N/A?
  • How do you know if you are doing the right level of work?
  • How do you customize the steps you are doing for an audit?

If your answers indicate you may be working harder when you could be working smarter, then it is time to check out CCH ProSystem fx Knowledge Coach, an integral part of Wolters Kluwer’s Integrated Audit Approach – either again or for the first time. See the solution firsthand, or schedule a 1-1 free consultation to discuss your firm’s needs.


Wendy Cable

All stories by: Wendy Cable

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