job Fordypning

Virtual Classroom: Developing the Audit Plan

The audit plan shouldn’t just be about the audit plan, it’s a key opportunity to strengthen relationships with key stakeholders. It also “sets the stage” for many of the things the internal audit function does and how it is perceived.

There are two key areas that regularly come up as issues for internal audit functions when having an external quality assessment:

1) the audit plan does not sufficiently align with the strategies, objectives and risks of the organisation and

2) the plan does not take into account other assurances.

In addition, internal audit teams are increasingly being asked to do a rolling/agile audit plan whilst also having demands to do assurances on regulatory matters. This course will share some of the latest good practices and insights in relation to internal audit plans, including details from the latest global IIA practice guide. It will also be an excellent opportunity to benchmark what you do with others.

What will I learn? 

Key areas covered?

  • What is your process for planning and is it documented?
  • Who do you consult?
  • What is best practice in terms of linking the IA plan to objectives and key risk areas, whilst delivering core assurance areas?
  • How to factor in “value add” into the planning process, including potential differences in what is done between Senior Management and the Audit Committee?
  • The importance of being clear about the “exam question” and knowing how much assurance each assignment is giving
  • Audit universes – what is best?
  • What is the best way to approach longer term planning horizons, as well as shorter-term changes
  • How to do a high level assurance map that will link to key areas of the plan
  • How to use the annual plan to deepen the relationship between the head of audit and senior stakeholders?
  • How to effectively address the question “Do you have enough resource”? in a way that gets a constructive debate going


You will receive 7 CPE’s for attending this course.

Zoom will be used for this course and the link will be sent to participants in advance.


James C Paterson is former head of audit for AstraZeneca PLC and has been consulting and training for the past 10 years for the IIA in Belgium, Finland, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland and the UK.

He is the author of the book “Lean Auditing” and has spoken at 3 IIA International Conferences and also the ECIIA conference. He contributed to the IIA global team that worked on developing practice guidance for internal audit plans.