During a recent lecture on internal audit’s enduring timeliness challenge, I was once again preaching of the dangers of audit engagements that take too long. A survey of participants disclosed that many took 60-90 days to finish a typical engagement. Most agreed that lengthy audits yield less value than those where the results can be delivered quickly.
But one seminar participant shared a different view. He was quick to point out that assurance engagements conducted too quickly are also fraught with danger – especially if the auditors don’t focus on the real risks. I agreed and have written about the dangers of what I call “drive-by audits” in the past. I promised the seminar participants that I would reshare my views on this topic. So here goes.