Systems and Risk Based Audits

Heads of Procurement, Risk Managers and Heads of Audit engage CAL to undertake rapid overviews of contracting activities within their organisations in order to inform the overall risk assessment process. Through the development of risk profiles, we usually prepare contract audit strategies for the Heads of Audit which prioritise audit work and are used to inform their annual audit plans.

CAL carries out specific contract audit reviews in accordance with the contract audit strategies that have been prepared. Such reviews usually focus on key corporate risk areas or on specific contracts that have been identified as being of strategic importance. Sometimes, these reviews involve the review of new initiatives for the organisation such as partnering agreements, open-book accounting procedures, or e-procurement systems in order to provide assurances that the respective control environments are sound.

Often, CAL is engaged by Heads of Procurement to review the overall control environment concerning an organisation’s procurement processes. This may include review of corporate procurement strategies and policies, contract procedure rules, and internal requirements regarding each stage of the procurement process. Such reviews focus on key issues such as what controls are in place to ensure all strategically important contracts let by the organisation deliver stakeholder expectations and are completed on time and within budget.

In this respect, CAL has prepared and helped implement detailed procedures for the control of procurement expenditure for several large organisations. This has included preparing relevant guidance in an electronic format for subsequent inclusion on the organisations’ Intranets, the facilitating of workshops with technical staff and members, and the drafting and implementation of revised contract procedure rules.   

CAL sometimes works with existing audit teams by, perhaps, guiding someone through their very first contract audit exercise. We build one-to-one relationships with individual auditors and work with them to develop audit programmes for specific contract audits. We accompany them as they gain confidence in interviewing technical officers and reviewing files, and are on hand to review working papers and draft reports. Working with in-house staff allows protocols and guidance to be established that can be used for their next audit reviews.

Wherever possible, CAL agrees fixed price, all inclusive, lump sum fees for it’s work. For short term assignments, final payment is not invoiced until after the work is finished (e.g. the final audit report has been agreed and all working papers submitted to the client).