Pre-Audit Planning Engagement (Business Pain Point Identification)

The essence of audit is providing assurance on the effectiveness of internal control system, governance and risk management. Audit function is said to be adding value to the business when management perceives that it is helping it in realizing business objectives and creating value for stakeholders. There are several issues that could prevent the business management from realizing business objectives, which are known as the business pain points. These business pain points may or may not have been identified and properly scoped. As such, it is the duty of the audit team during the pre-audit engagements to request from the audit client some of its identified business pain points and challenges that are preventing it from effectively discharging its duties. These business pain points might be as a result of weak internal control systems, lack of risk management and governance related challenges.

Hence, the audit team should determine if most or all the identified pain points could be addressed through the audit or at best report same to management and board audit committee for their action and intervention if not already known to them. To add value, the audit team must have the business pain points and their root causes at the back of their minds while conducting the audit to see how it can use the audit to improve or address them. This process will be effective where the pain points have been obtained and known to the audit team prior to kick starting the audit exercise.

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