If an audit report was rated 'unsatisfactory' at the draft stage and management started implementing all types of measures to respond to the observations, could later the rating in the final issued audit report be amended to for instance 'partially satisfactory'? I am wondering whether this is ethically correct- even if management is taking the actions very seriously.
Thank you very much in advance for your responses.
In my view, and assuming that the management actions have been started as a result of the audit fieldwork (rather than already being pre-planned or underway), the audit report rating should remain at unsatisfactory. However, if your reporting format and wording allows, there is no harm in including some related wording within the report, that gives management some credit for their prompt and serious response.
I find that writing a draft report that points out the existence of significant issues (most of which were probably already known) really focuses the attention of management on making improvements because they know that the senior management team is going to swoop down on them if they don’t fix it ASAP.
The purpose of an audit is to improve controls and the efficiency of processes. I’m not focused on an audit rating (which I find usually just leads to a lot of useless arguing with management over the rating anyway). If it’s fixed on the spot, that’s ok with me. Depending on what the problem was, of course, they might have to go back and fix some things that were not done properly. I would typically include a statement that management corrected it during the audit or at least say that in a verbal briefing.