Just as good communication is at the core of a quality and successful organization, good documentation can put good communication in a manageable context and render it central to effective policies, procedures, regulations, legal matters, disputes, and audits. Many have heard the phrase, «If it is not in writing, it didn’t happen.» This phrase is often used as a method to strive for better, and more complete, documentation. Simply put, it just makes sense to document what is planned, what is done, and what is communicated.

Internal auditors approach their work in a systematic, disciplined manner, and workpapers provide a systematic, disciplined approach to documentation. Workpapers provide evidence of the entire engagement process — from planning to performing to communicating.

Engagement workpapers are used to document the information generated throughout the engagement process, including planning; testing, analyzing, and evaluating data; and formulating engagement results and conclusions. Workpapers may be maintained on paper, electronically, or both. Use of internal audit software may enhance consistency and efficiency.

This Global Knowledge Brief gives an introduction to Effective Workpapers – Learning the basics.