An organization’s assessment, testing and audit strategies will depend on its size, industry, financial status and other factors. For example, a small non-profit, a small private company and a small public company will all have different requirements and goals. Like any procedure or policy, the audit strategy should be assessed and tested regularly to ensure that the organization is not doing a disservice to itself with the current strategy. There are three types of audit strategies:
- Internal. An internal audit strategy should be aligned to the organization’s business and day-to-day operations. For example, a publicly traded company will have a more rigorous auditing strategy than a privately held company. However, the stakeholders in both companies have an interest in protecting intellectual property, customer data and employee information. Designing the audit strategy should include laying out applicable regulatory requirements and compliance goals.
- External. An external audit strategy should complement the internal strategy, providing regular checks to ensure that procedures are being followed and the organization is meeting its compliance goals.
- Third-party. Third-party auditing provides a neutral and objective approach to reviewing the existing design, methods for testing and overall strategy for auditing the environment. A third-party audit can also ensure that both internal and external auditors are following the processes and procedures that are defined as part of the overall strategy.