Audit planning is a vital area of the audit primarily conducted at the beginning of audit process to ensure that appropriate attention is devoted to important areas, potential problems are promptly identified, work is completed expeditiously and work is properly coordinated. "Audit planning" means developing a general strategy and a detailed approach for the expected nature, timing and extent of the audit. The auditor plans to perform the audit in an efficient and timely manner.
An audit plan is the specific guideline to be followed when conducting an audit. it helps the auditor obtain sufficient appropriate evidence for the circumstances, helps keep audit costs at a reasonable level, and helps avoid misunderstandings with the client.
It addresses the specifics of what, where, who, when and how:
- What are the audit objectives?
- Where will the audit be done? (i.e. scope)
- When will the audit occur? (how long?)
- Who are the auditors?
- How will the audit be done?
Benefits of audit plan
- It helps the auditor obtain sufficient appropriate evidence for the circumstances.
- It helps to keep audit costs at a reasonable level.
- It helps to avoid misunderstandings with the client.
- It helps to ensure that potential problems are promptly identified.
- It helps to know the scope of audit program by an auditor.
- It helps to carry out the audit work smoothly and in a well defined manner.
Process of audit planning
It includes following procedures
- Knowledge of client's business, which includes financing, legal framework, government norms, investments, accounting policies, business risk and financial risk
- Development of audit strategies or overall plan (who, when and how)
- Preparation of audit programme