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CPE for Government Auditors

Leading an Audit Project

As the lead on an audit project, you are no longer just a technician, but a teacher, a coach, and a manager. In this two-day course, learn how to keep a handle on project quality, scope, and resources while communicating clearly with stakeholders. We will also cover how to develop your staff and enhance your skills as a servant leader.

This course assumes you know the basics of audit planning, fieldwork, and reporting.

Course objectives include:

  • Create master plans that keep your audit on track
  • Schedule tasks for maximum impact
  • Teach new staff key audit skills
  • Implement active listening skills to get to the root of performance problems
  • Ensure audit quality with the appropriate quality and quantity of evidence

Who should attend: Auditors

Program level: Intermediate

Prerequisites: 1 or more years of audit experience

Delivery method: Group live

Recommended CPE credit: 16 hours

Auditing to Support a Meaningful Audit Report

WHAT PEOPLE SAY ABOUT THIS SEMINAR

“A very helpful course with relevant and easy to apply content led by a very knowledgeable and engaging instructor.”
- Charlie Johnson, CAE of LCRA February 2016

“Leita is one of the best instructors I have ever had. Leita reaches out to all participants—and doesn’t leave anyone ‘behind’, which is amazing considering the diversity of the class.”
- Basic Audit Skills participant, March 2013

Do you audit first and worry about the report at the end of the project? Maybe you’ve realized that no amount of editing will fix a report for an audit that went off the rails. In this course, we will look at the critical components of an audit report and how to create them – as you audit – so that the reporting process is easy.  Frequent references to audit standards will keep us grounded.

Course objectives include:

  • Sort out insignificant complaints and focus on significant risks
  • Create convincing, implementable and auditable recommendations
  • Generate concise and logical findings in an hour or less
  • Choose methodologies that support conclusions and findings
  • Choose the strongest content for your finding
  • Decide how much detail to share in the report
  • Quantify findings
  • Recognize dangerous tone and language
  • Establish expectations and guidelines for creating a compelling  finding
  • Decide when to pursue the root cause
  • Focusing the report conclusion on a finite, answerable objective
  • Refine the objective and sub-objectives

Program level: Intermediate

Instructional method: Group live instruction

Prerequisites: More than one year of audit experience

Who should attend: Auditors who write or review audit reports

Recommended CPE credit: 16 hours

 

Audit Planning and Risk Assessment

WHAT PEOPLE SAY ABOUT THIS SEMINAR

“I have been ranting and raving to my peers, family and friends about your seminar… you had me on the edge of my seat just absorbing all the information you covered! Anyone that can teach [auditing]… in such a fun, exciting and upbeat way… deserves more than just KUDOS. I am already looking into other seminars you teach.”

The ultimate impact of your audit report often depends on how you start out. A thorough planning process is key to creating compelling results. By asking a series of specific questions, you can shape your audit project into something interesting and valuable. In this seminar we will work together to develop a solid audit plan that will result in an audit report you can be proud of.

Course objectives include:

  • Uncover risk and choose an audit subject by asking specific questions
  • Refine the objectives and sub-objectives
  • Document your assessment and keep it up-to-date throughout the audit
  • Apply the 2013 version of the COSO model to your control risk assessment
  • Choose strong convincing audit methodologies

Program level: Intermediate

Instructional method: Group live instruction

Prerequisites: More than two years of audit experience

Who should attend: Auditors who plan audit engagements

Recommended CPE credit: 8 hours

Audit Methodologies

All student comments from July 2016 open enrollment class for government internal auditors…

  • The course is great for beginning auditors as well as experienced ones. It covers the basic question of how to take an objective for an audit and ensure it will yield the outcome or answer the question you are asking. Then being able to ensure your procedures address that objective. It sounds basic, but its very easy to just do standard audit procedures that may or may not address your objective.
  • The discussion on audit objectives was particularly helpful. The lesson on SPPRC and audit program design was good practice and brought up good discussion points.
  • It’s important in auditing to understand the significance of having a good audit methodology, as well as understanding how the methodology fits into the process.
  • This course was good for obtaining a basic understanding of and gaining hands on experience with audit working papers and methodologies for testing.
  • I was engaged the whole 8hrs we were in class, the instructor touched on every subject I needed clarification on.
  • Leita always has great information and is a wonderful instructor. You will leave always learning something new.
  • I really enjoyed the structure of these course. I was able to use my auditing skills and learn to enhance them.
  • This course should be required for internal auditors. I definitely learned things I will be using on the job.
  • The material is useful to rookie and veteran auditors. It will help me with my work paper development.
  • The subject matter is essential to anyone in the audit/analyst field, new or experienced.
  • One of the best instructors I’ve had at XX. She was experienced and engaging, and I actually learned a lot from the class. I appreciated that she wanted us to learn. She was very prepared. She was also very good at presenting and explaining information.
  • Leita engaged the entire class in exercises, and I learned not only from her but from other peers in the class. She had good energy, and the right mix of humor and instruction to keep the day moving along.
  • She was by far the best instructor I’ve had at XX. She kept us working and on task the whole day, but it felt fun. She really knows her audience and makes everyone feel comfortable enough to ask questions.
  • Leita was very knowledgeable of the subject matter, and she was able to interact with the class, in order to make sure everyone was understanding the material.
  • Leita is a fantastic instructor. She provides information in a clear and easily understood format and provides relevant take-aways and job-aids.
  • EXCELLENT!!! Knowledgeable, interesting, funny, and clear. I really feel like her class offer useful information in a clear and usable manner
  • She was very good at keeping my attention and made learning fun and effective. I would definitely take one of her trainings again.
  • Instructor makes a potentially stifling topic so approachable we were even able to put effort into it during the course.
  • Leita is the best. She’s knows what she’s talking about and it able to relay it to the people attending her courses.
  • Leita is very knowledgeable of the subject and provided an interesting and fun way of learning and staying engaged.
  • She is great and knowledgeable. She can gracefully articulate the subject matter to where you can understand it.
  • Leita is extremely knowledgeable and easily understood. She makes her classes lively and fun.
  • The instructor was very involved with the class and kept it very dynamic.
  • The instructor’s ability to make all of the information relevant and fun.
  • Leita was very entertaining, engaging, and educational.
  • Leita is an entertaining and informative instructor.
  • Very knowledgeable and got everyone to participate.
  • Great instructor! Keeps you alert and engaged.
  • The instructor did an excellent job.
  • Great interaction with students.
  • She is awesome!

Have you ever wanted to say something in your audit report but you can’t support with evidence? Or have you ever wasted a significant amount of time on a test that you didn’t need to perform? We will design audit methodologies that get you where you want to go as quickly and as easily as possible.  The resulting working papers convince your audit leadership that you can confidently conclude against your audit objective.

Upon completion of this course, participants will be able to:

  • Choose appropriate methodologies for a variety of objectives
  • Discern strong evidence from weak evidence
  • Develop a stand-alone working paper for a methodology

Who should attend: Auditors

Program level: Basic

Prerequisites: No prerequisites or advance preparation required

Delivery method: Group live

Recommended CPE credit: 8 hours

Audit Reporting

WHAT PEOPLE SAY ABOUT THIS SEMINAR

“Leita!

I enjoyed the content and pace of the training today and yesterday. You mentioned that it was difficult to measure how effective your training was so here’s some news: It was the second time I’d participated in your training; some of the material was duplicate but helpful and relevant to both trainings.

The first training session in March 2013, Essential Skills for the Beginning Auditor, helped guide my practice through major office changes, two being no Director/CAE and Audit Manager for 10 months. Lose of these two roles (out of six) made a hugely negative impact to refining audit objectives, building an audit program, and clearly communicating to/with management. At this time, having only 1 1/2 years of internal audit experience and hardly any at planning or report writing, your training and print materials helped me navigate the open seas!

The new boss came in all about the FIVE ELEMENTS so, naturally we were signed up for Audit Reporting.

Audit Reporting, reinforced why/how to tie the planning and testing to supporting anything worth mentioning: To best communicate with reviewers and to bring the value to the audience, flush out less useful findings and wording in the reports. The session brought an end-in-mind approach to quickly deliver the best value.

Not to mention, your sense a humor was appreciated. Even though, the stories were mostly “women stories”, they brought a pleasant interruption to the dreary subject of Internal Audit.

Thanks!”
– Esther Villarreal, Internal Auditor Intermediate, January 2015

A 1.5-day course designed for auditors who care about the impact of their audit reports.

A logically organized report is a gift to the reader. In this course, you will learn how to create meaningful, concise reports without all the headache. We will discuss ways to streamline your writing process as well as techniques for organizing your thoughts.

This class is beneficial for both new and experienced auditors. New auditors learn how to use the elements of a finding to structure their message. Experienced auditors learn how to set clear expectations, quickly review audit reports, and coach staff to improve their writing. We will walk through each step of the report writing process and learn how to craft a clear message to fit the audience.

The class is centered on the five elements of a finding — as required by the GAO and the Single Audit Act and suggested by the Institute of Internal Auditors.

Topics include:

  • Structure audit content in support of audit recommendations
  • Create convincing, implementable and auditable recommendations
  • Generate concise and logical findings in an hour or less
  • Choose the strongest content for your finding
  • Decide how much detail to share in the report
  • Quantify findings
  • Enhance the readability of your report
  • Recognize dangerous tone and language
  • Establish expectations and guidelines for creating a compelling finding
  • Decide when to pursue the root cause
  • Focusing the report conclusion on a finite, answerable objective

Program level: Intermediate

Instructional method: Group live instruction

Prerequisites: More than one year of audit experience

Who should attend: Auditors who write or review audit reports

Recommended CPE credit: 12 hours

How to Conduct a Performance/Operational Audit

Performance auditors must create their entire project from scratch, including choosing the audit criteria, developing an audit objective, and writing the audit program.

The Institute of Internal Auditors and the Government Auditing Standards give us some guidance, but don’t lay out a step-by-step approach. In this class, we will go over a logical step-by-step approach to audit any subject matter against any given criteria. We’ll use an interesting case study to tie it all together. Frequent references to standards will keep you grounded and compliant.

You will learn:

  • Determine the scope of your audit
  • Describe what the IIA and the GAO have to say about performance audits
  • Set clear objectives and sub-objectives
  • Design actionable audit program steps to minimize fieldwork
  • Use a simple risk assessment model that considers inherent and control risk
  • Breakdown a broad audit subject
  • Formulate a conclusion and recommendations

Who should attend: Auditors who conduct a performance audits or are thinking about taking one on.

Program level: Basic

Prerequisites: No prerequisites or advance preparation required

Delivery method: Group live

Recommended CPE credit: 8 hours

Cool, Calm, Confident Client Interactions

Auditors must set realistic expectations, ask good questions, listen attentively, demonstrate respect, and—most importantly—deliver good news with genuine enthusiasm and difficult news with sincerity and professionalism.

Auditors can graduate magna cum laude, possess excellent technical skills and have the perfect wardrobe, but if they can’t communicate effectively and establish positive personal rapport with clients, they will be far less effective. Clear communication helps clients accept necessary changes that are a key to the mutual success of the entire audit process.

The power of effective communication is not learned primarily through lecture, but by an interactive, videotaped series of role-plays that allow the student to practice and get feedback they can put into practice. Participants leave with not only with class notes, but a DVD of their exercises and feedback to review.

You will learn to:

  • Conduct effective entrance interviews that give clients a step-by-step understanding of how the audit process works and how it can benefit them.
  • Set a tone that shows you are there to help them be more successful, not catch them doing something wrong.
  • Minimize fear. Let them know that your findings may include only minor suggestions or you may discover important areas where they can make changes and be even more successful in the future. Both are good outcomes.
  • Exit interviews are crucial. You must treat clients with respect, while being candid, thorough and clear in your recommendations.  Start with the good news, then move to areas that need improvement. Use terms that are candid but non-confrontational.
  • Leave clients with a positive feeling. Their attitude toward you and the entire audit process is key to successful implementation of your recommendations.

Who should attend: Auditors who deal with those in charge of governance: university boards of regents, corporate boards of directors, or audit committees

Program level: Intermediate

Prerequisites: Two or more years of audit experience

Delivery method: Group live with videotaping of each participant’s exercises

Recommended CPE credit: 8 or 16 hours

How To Get The Most From A-133 Sampling

This session gives you everything you need to know about what you are doing and why you are doing it with A-133 samples. It explains how the sample sizes are calculated and directly relates compliance and control (and other types of) risk to sample size. And, we give you field-ready Excel tools which: (1) calculate exact (rather than approximate) sample sizes using up to 11 different risk factors; and (2) extrapolate A-133 sampling results to the population so as to estimate risk exposure in terms of both rate of occurrence and monetary valuation. Best of all, you do not need to know anything about math or statistics for this stuff to make sense.

But wait! There’s more

We also give you field-ready Excel tools which:

  • Exactly calculate A-133 sample sizes via the identical math used in the AICPA Audit Sampling Guide, including population size adjustments, thereby helping prevent the over-sampling and under-sampling that can occur using A-133’s approximate sample sizes (60, 40, and 25).
  • Let you calculate sample size using the following factors:
  • AICPA Sampling Guide Risk Factors
  • Risk of Material Misstatement
  • Tolerable Misstatement
  • Tolerable Error Rate
  • Expected Number of Deviations
  • Expected Deviation Rate
  • Control Significance
  • Inherent Risk
  • Risk of Over-Reliance (Beta Risk)
  • Risk of Under-Reliance (Alpha Risk)
  • Ratio of Expected-To-Tolerable Rate (for Monetary Unit Sampling)
  • Extrapolate A-133 sampling results to report population risk exposure in terms of both rate of occurrence and monetary valuation.

And, believe it or not, we make it fun!

Who should attend: Auditors performing A-133 engagements

Program level: Basic

Prerequisites: No prerequisites or advance preparation required

Delivery method: Group live

Recommended CPE credit: 2 hours

Insructor:  BRUCE TRUITT  (Click here for more information about Bruce Truitt.)

 

Learn more about our Single Audit Series extravaganza, coming to a city near you in April 2012!

Essential Auditing Skills

Essential Audit Skills

WHAT PEOPLE SAY ABOUT THIS SEMINAR

“I enjoyed the course. I was able to use all the information that was given. I had taken a course through another facility where the instructor did not follow the course description and it ended up not pertaining to internal auditors as much as it should have. The complete audit process is contingent on your own agency but coming into an environment with others, helps you understand the processes and why it’s a standard.”
- March 2013

“I’ve only been in Auditing for one month and the instructor was made the course interesting. Working in small groups helped with getting different opinions.”
- March 2013

“Instructor dissected the entire audit process from planning to report writing with a great sense of humor that kept students interested.”
- March 2013

“I’ve been an auditor for 5 weeks. Until this course I felt in over my head. Now I have a clearer understanding of my purpose at work.”
- March 2013

“The course was a very good introduction to auditing. Any new person would enjoy the subject matter covered.”
- March 2013

“Information was presented simply and succinctly to facilitate implementation for new auditor.”
- March 2013

Without an understanding of key auditor skills, auditors could easily spend valuable audit hours doing the wrong thing.

Auditors will feel more comfortable doing their work once they understand the essentials of performing fieldwork—gathering information, risk assessment, working paper preparation, and issue development.

This course is helpful for new auditors and experienced auditors alike.  New auditors will learn new skills and experienced auditors will recognize and resolve unproductive habits.  Frequent references to the applicable standards will keep us grounded.

Objectives:

  • Compose a finding or audit issue
  • Choose how to gather evidence for your audit conclusions
  • Apply a simple risk assessment model to your audit subject
  • Document what you’ve done in the working papers
  • Breakdown the steps of an audit and describe how your work fits in
  • Identify which standards you must follow
  • Recognize when to discuss issues with your supervisor
  • Distinguish between over-auditing and under-auditing

Who should attend: Auditors seeking to learn new skills.

Program level: Basic

Prerequisites: No prerequisites or advance preparation required

Delivery method: Group live

Recommended CPE credit: 16 hours

Audit Report Review for Supervisors and Managers

Do you seem to get caught in an endless cycle of review and revision in your audit shop? Are you sometimes surprised at the angle your staff has taken on a finding? As a supervisor or manager you have control over, and the responsibility for, the reports and the reporting process. Learn what other audit shops do to save time and effort in creating audit reports.

Objectives:

  • Analyze how to reduce review time
  • Practice coaching your team to find—and to report on—the root problem or cause
  • Identify resources to improve the writing skills of your staff
  • Deliver constructive and tactful feedback to staff
  • Discover techniques for avoiding the seemingly endless cycle of review and revision
  • Design steps into your reporting process that increase the quality of your final product

Who should attend: Auditors with less than one year of audit experience.

Program level: Basic

Prerequisites: No prerequisites or advance preparation required

Delivery method: Group live

Recommended CPE credit: 8 hours

The Art of the Finding

A logically organized finding is a gift to the reader and to the tax-paying public. By using a few key guidelines on content and organization, the team can create an audit report masterpiece! This course is centered on the Yellow Book and IIA requirements regarding audit findings and reports.

Objectives:

  • Generate concise and logical findings in an hour or less
  • Choose the strongest content for your finding
  • Justify how much detail to share in the report
  • Quantify findings
  • Edit findings and provide meaningful feedback

Who should attend: Auditors who write or review audit reports

Program level: Basic

Prerequisites: No prerequisites or advance preparation required

Delivery method: Group live

Recommended CPE credit: 8 hours

Audit Planning and Risk Assessment

In this seminar, you will learn how to set clear objectives after scoping out the issues and conducting a simple risk assessment. You will also learn how to create rock solid audit programs from scratch that help ensure that your team does not over- or under-audit.

The Risk Assessment SASs and the GAO performance audit standards ask us to design our audits intentionally; canned audit programs are discouraged. Vague audit objectives and canned audit programs produce uneven results and cause audit teams to waste precious audit time.

Objectives:

  • Discern which risk assessment models and documentation methods can help you comply with the standards
  • Set clear objectives and subobjectives
  • Create actionable audit program steps to minimize fieldwork
  • Describe the steps of planning an audit
  • Breakdown a broad audit subject
  • Use the concept of stop-and-go auditing to get the most bang for your buck
  • Design robust methodologies

Who should attend: Every auditor that has a sneaking suspicion that using canned audit programs may cause them to miss the boat or over-audit.  Auditors seeking to comply with the new suite of Risk Assessment SASs.

Program level: Intermediate

Prerequisites: More than one year of audit experience

Delivery method: Group live

Recommended CPE credit: 8 hours

Single Audit Primer

WHAT PEOPLE SAY ABOUT THIS SEMINAR

“I wish I would have had access to this seminar when I first started working on Yellowbook and OMB Section A-133 audits. The book is very insightful and could have saved time and money in learning how to audit in the government world.”
- March 2013

Single audits are different. The federal government demands a lot of a grantee and their auditor. In this course, we will cover the audit requirements that exceed AICPA standards in the GAO’s Yellow Book and the Uniform Guidance.

Objectives:

  • Determining which GAO requirements apply to the Single Audit
  • Choosing appropriate audit methodologies
  • Selecting direct and material compliance items
  • Designing control documentation that meets Uniform Guidance requirements
  • Locating and utilizing key guiding documents and audit requirements

Who should attend: Auditors seeking to comply with Single Audit requirements.

Program level: Intermediate

Prerequisites: More than one year of audit experience

Delivery method: Group live

Recommended CPE credit: 8 hours

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