South East Training - Business Process Auditing Toolkit

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The Closing Meeting

The closing meeting marks the end of the investigation phase of the business process audit. Again, iIt is held on site, with the local management, and is chaired by the lead auditor.

The purpose of the meeting is to relay the results of the audit investigation to the local management and gain a commitment from them that actions will be taken to address the issues identified. Observations should have been declared to the auditee representatives when they were found, so there should be no surprises at this meeting.  A formal report, incorporating the results presented at the meeting, will follow at a later stage.

The lead auditor should try to limit the meeting to 30 minutes. A suggested agenda appears below.

IntroductionsEven though introductions were made during the opening meeting, it is likely that the closing meeting will be attended by personnel who were not at the opening meeting and, therefore, this should be included as an agenda item. The attendance list forms part of the audit records.
ThanksThe lead auditor should thank the auditee management for their assistance and any hospitality received.
Purpose and ScopeThe lead auditor should briefly restate the purpose and scope of the audit.
SampleThe auditors should explain that the audit involved the investigation of only a limited sample of the organisation's activities, and the implication of this for the management: they should be reminded that as well as any issues identified by the audit, there may be other similar issues in areas audited, or in other areas. The auditee management should look for and correct such deficiencies, as part of their business process improvement activities.
FindingsThe observation reports should be read in full without deviation from the written text or interruption. Copies of the written statements should be handed over to the auditee. This can be done either before or after they have been presented orally. Handing them out after presentation prevents the auditee reading ahead. An explanation of the categorisation of the deficiencies should also be given. Further information about observation statements appears on the Observation Statements page.
Summary Statement The main conclusions to be drawn from the audit should be stated in a ‘summary statement’. It should be explained that this statement may be modified when the auditors have had more time to consider the significance of the findings. Further information about summary statements appears on the Summary Statement page.
ClarificationThe auditee management should be given any explanations they request to clarify the observation reports. However, there should be no debate about the facts or their significance.
Withdrawals (not to be included on the written agenda)If, during the closing meeting, evidence is provided to show that a finding is in error, it should be withdrawn immediately and an apology given. If the evidence is too large or complex to be reviewed during the closing meeting, its consideration should be left until after the meeting.
AcknowledgementsThe auditor should ask the auditee management to sign each report acknowledging their understanding. If the auditee refuses to sign the reports, they should nonetheless be left with them.
Audit Report Availability State when the report may be expected and explain briefly the response expected. Further information about audit reports appears on the Audit Report page.
Auditee’s Response The auditee management may wish to make a brief statement to the effect that they have noted the findings of the audit and will take such corrective action as is necessary as quickly as possible.
DepartureAs soon as the essential business of the meeting is completed the auditors should thank the auditees again for their courtesy and depart.  Prolonging the meeting risks reopening the issues raised earlier.

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