How to Write a Forensic Audit Plan
A forensic audit is an examination of an organization’s or individual’s economic activities, resulting in a report designed especially for use in a court of law. Forensic audits are often associated with investigations into alleged fraudulent activity. Forensic audits are used whenever attorneys and law enforcement agencies are seeking reliable evidence from the data of a party’s fraudulent financial status or activities. Forensic audits are performed by a special class of financial experts know as forensic accountants.
Describe the purpose of the forensic audit plan. An example of objectives would be identifying the type of fraud that occurred, the period in which it happened and the tactics used to conceal it.
Describe the scope of the forensic audit plan in relation to the activity in question. Take advantage of the fact that forensic auditing does not limit accessibility to books of accounts of a company or its branches.
Outline a brief overview of the system used by the organization or persons to be audited. Draw out a table detailing the name, code, operational status and any previous modifications made on the system. Make reference to this overview as the point of reference for the remainder of the document.
List the references that you used to prepare the forensic audit plan. Examples of references include previously developed documents relating to the case in question. Also list and elaborate the meanings of the acronyms and abbreviations you used in the plan document.
List the organizational contacts that may be needed by users of the document for informational and troubleshooting purposes. Provide details on the type of contact, contact name, department, telephone number and e-mail address. Include a list of organizations that require coordination during the case in question and the specific significance of each organization. Include a schedule for the coordination activities.
Tips & Warnings
Consider adopting the best ways to gather evidence, such as the use of computer-assisted audit techniques that is very common in fraud investigations.
Prepare the forensic audit plan with an independent and objective mind because any subjective considerations may tamper with objective execution of the audit process.