While digging through the desk of a recently retired auditor, I was lucky enough to stumble across his collection of historical audit reports. Based on documentation he maintained, he amassed this fine collection through purchases on eBay. He seems to have had great success with the keyword searches “Internal Audit Reports.” (No one else seems to have ever used that particular search.)
Following is the beginning of a report on the audit review commissioned by Benjamin Franklin over the processes used in development of the Declaration of Independence.
When in the course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, there are numerous approaches to such severance. A proclamation of such severance was made by the United States on or about July 4, 1776. The process, while not originally intended to result in said severance, did result in documentation and action with strong ramifications for the country.
This audit was request by Dr. Benjamin Franklin who felt that the pennies saved, earned, or in any other fashion obtained should be accounted for. He indicated that freedom was worth any price, but it did not make sense to waste such pennies if not necessary. With Dr. Franklin’s approval, the audit was expanded to encompass other risk areas the audit department felt warranted their attention.
This audit was conducted to validate that controls over the independence declaration process adequately ensured such independence was achieved in an effective and efficient manner. This included the timeliness of such independence, the complete severance of ties with political bands, the proper control of associated expenses, and adequate documentation.
This audit included reviews of all support for expenses, human resource elements (delegates), diaries, and document history documentation. The time period reviewed was June 7, 1776 (when independence resolution was first formulated) to August 2, 1976 (the date of final signing of the declaration document.) This review did not include assessment of any actions taken by delegates outside their responsibilities related to independence declarations.
Stay tuned, next week I hope to provide you with the resulting opinion, issues, and corrective actions.