The 2018 version of the Yellow Book mentions audit objectives 163 times in one chapter on performance audits! That tells me that objectives run the show! And you know, the broader your audit objective, the longer your audit becomes and the harder your audit report is to write.
A few years ago, I created a white paper on objectives. The concepts covered in the white paper are even more important today. Please find a copy of it here.
And, if you are a member of the IIA, please check out the IIA Supplemental Guidance Practice Guide “Engagement Planning: Establishing Objectives and Scope”published in 2017 which covers much of the same ground regarding performance audit objectives. Find the IIA Standards here: https://na.theiia.org/standards-guidance/mandatory-guidance/pages/standards.aspx and enter your member number to access the Practice Guide.
And if you want to experience creating and refining objectives along with me, please join me during one of my upcoming essential skills seminars. The next one is in Austin this July https://yellowbook-cpe.com/product/essential-audit-skills-in-austin-july-2019