Board Alchemy

What kind of review do you need?

What kind of review do you need?

Our reviews are tailored to meet your specific needs.  Broadly, we have five ‘types’ of review, each with different objectives and different benefits.

1. ‘Full’ review

A full review entails interviews with key stakeholders (to assess the impact that Internal Audit makes) and review of key documentation such as a selection of reports and working papers (to assess the quality of Internal Audit’s work).  We’ll also spend a good amount of time with the Head of Internal Audit and engage with members of the audit team to understand what they do and how they work.  At the conclusion of our work we’d report our findings to the Audit Committee in a balanced report, drawing out strengths and areas for improvement.

The full review gives a point-in-time assessment of internal audit and a rounded assessment that will provide recommendations for improvement for internal audit, drawing on good practice we see elsewhere.

2. Phased review

A full review might only be performed once in five years, and much can happen between one review and the next.  Our phased reviews are undertaken over a number of years looking at different aspects of Internal Audit’s work each year – much in the same way as an audit team may audit different parts of the ‘audit universe’ over a number of years.

The phased review covers all key areas, but gives the Audit Committee a degree of ongoing assurance and an external perspective over a period of time.  It also benefits from allowing flexibility, so different aspects of Internal Audit’s work can be reviewed at an appropriate time.

3. Validated self-assessment

The validated self-assessment brings an external perspective to a self-review undertaken by Internal Audit.  It can be supplemented by additional review work, and is dependent on a rigorous and thorough self-assessment by the Head of Internal Audit, supported by appropriate evidence.

This approach is lighter touch and lower cost, and may be appropriate for a smaller audit function.  It brings the benefit of an external perspective and offers suggestions for improvement.

4. Stakeholder survey

A key aspect of Internal Audit’s effectiveness is knowing whether it has a positive impact and makes a real difference.  A stakeholder survey focuses on understanding the needs and expectations of Internal Audit’s key stakeholders, and whether these are being met.

It can, at times, be advantageous for Internal Audit to get stakeholder feedback through an independent exercise – where they can give open views to a third party.  Our review brings objectivity to the assessment.

5. Readiness review

A readiness review is typically undertaken six to twelve months before a full review.  It is restricted in scope, but considers the key areas that a full review would, through a combination of selected interviews and limited document review.

The readiness review helps Internal Audit position itself for its forthcoming 'full' external review, identifying key areas requiring attention in sufficient time for these to be addressed before the full review takes place.


What does "effective" mean?

What kind of review do you need?

What does an internal audit review entail?

How do you get the most out of your review?