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Developing Effective Audit Work Programs

Course Description

 Print-friendly Course Description and Outline​ 
Developing an audit work program can be a daunting process, especially when the audit area is one the auditor is unfamiliar with or that has not previously been audited. This course will take the mystery and pain out of the process by introducing a methodology called Closing the Loop Framework. It provides a foundation for how to develop audit steps based on audit scope and the evidence required to achieve audit objectives. Less experienced auditors will learn how to build the audit program, and experienced auditors will have an opportunity to refresh their skill set and consider the Closing the Loop Framework as a tool for improving audit quality. Internal and external auditors with at least three years’ general audit experience will benefit from this course and will have the opportunity to build components of an audit program in a workshop.​​​

In this seminar, we will discuss critical issues:

  • Fundamental requirements for audit work programs referencing audit standards and generally accepted practices.
  • Planning performance, financial, compliance, and IT audits.
  • Using the Closing the Loop Framework to ensure completeness and quality of the planning and audit execution processes.
  • How well developed audit work programs support the management and quality assurance of audits.

Learning Objectives:

  • Gain an understanding of the role of the audit work program.
  • Become familiar with Standards-based requirements for audit work programs.
  • Strengthen skills in developing audit steps and audit work programs.
  • Understand how checklists and internal control questionnaires can be used.
Course Duration: 2 day(s)
CPEs Available: 16
Knowledge Level: Intermediate
Field of Study: Auditing
​​At least three years' general audit experience.
Advance Preparation: 
Delivery Method: On-site Training (Group-Live)

Setting the Stage — Role of Audit and Audit Evidence

  • Defining audit evidence.
  • Impact of audit evidence on audit risk.
  • Requirements from auditing standards.
  • Audit charter.
  • Compliance.
  • Audit work plan vs. audit checklist.

Audit Development Cycle

  • Defining the Closing the Loop Framework process.


  • Understanding the business processes.
  • Documenting business processes.
  • Performing and documenting the audit-focused risk assessment.
  • Define control objectives.
  • Translating business processes to control objectives.
  • Identifying control criteria.

Developing Audit Objectives

  • Importance of linking audit objectives to operational and control objectives.
  • Incorporating risk-based auditing into audit strategies.
  • Developing steps that add value.
  • Linking to business strategy (annual audit plan too).
  • CAE keeping staff aware of strategy and changes in business.
  • Proactive not reactive.

Defining Audit Criteria

  • Linking audit criteria to work programs.

Building the Audit Steps – Starting from Scratch

  • Determine what technology can do for you.
  • Building audit steps from criteria-based evidence.
  • Designing audit work programs for standards compliance.
  • Ensuring that audit steps developing during the audit are included in the audit work plan.
  • Identifying skills and knowledge for developing audit work programs.
  • Incorporating appropriate audit techniques into audit work programs.
  • Understanding the importance of timing and sequencing audit steps.
  • Good practices for audit steps or procedures.
  • Techniques for evaluating and modifying, if necessary, existing audit work programs.
  • Developing and using checklists and internal control questionnaires to support audit work programs.

Building the Audit Steps

  • Using prior audit programs.

Developing Audit Results

  • Using audit work programs to help draw conclusions and develop audit reports.

Quality Assurance

  • Using the Closing the Loop Framework for developing and strengthening audit work programs.
Most courses can be delivered through on-site training. You might be surprised that the organization leading the profession is just as committed to the delivery of affordable training.

Contact us by calling +1-407-937-1388 or send an e-mail​​