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Governance, Risk and Compliance: The Audit Process in Qatar

The Audit Process
The audit process is defined as the complete process of as the complete and independent gathering, collection and examination of statements, records, operations and performances (financial or otherwise) of an organization in an independent and systematic way for a stated purpose. 

“As a result of an audit; stakeholders may effectively evaluate and improve the effectiveness of risk management, control, and the governance process; over the subject manner.”

The Typical Audit
In preparation of the audit, our team of legal and business specialists have an initial commencement meeting with stakeholders and senior management that is responsible for the area under audit to finalize the purpose, objectives and scope, and where the auditor will explain any questions or concerns that the client may have regarding the audit before it is started.
The entrance meeting should also be utilized to determine the appropriate contact personnel, set-up any necessary appointments, and determine the desired and most efficient methods of communication during the course of the audit.
One of the primary objectives of the auditor is to gain an understanding of the client's operations. The auditor will ask to examine any existing written policies and/or procedures which your area may have produced. Additionally, the auditor will ask to interview key personnel in order to develop (or update) our understanding of the operations being audited. Upon completion of this stage of the audit, the auditor will prepare a control document (flowchart, narrative, or questionnaire). This document will be utilized to help assess the operation's control strengths and weaknesses and to determine the nature and extent of audit testing to be performed.
Once the audit has been completed the auditor will forward an initial report for client review and arrangement in preparation of the exit meeting.
The exit meeting allows the auditor to present his findings and recommendations to senior management. This also serves as a platform/forum where both the client team and the auditor to reach agreement and discuss any necessary alternatives to the audit recommendations.
The formal audit report will be delivered to the client after the exit meeting is finalized.
What Auditors need from Clients – Steps to make the process easier
Obtaining an understanding of the client’s business is key to an effective and efficient audit. Not only does it allow us to tailor our work to meet the individual facts and circumstances of each individual client, but also to carry out that work and to evaluate our findings in an informed manner.
Our knowledge of the business helps us to develop and maintain a positive professional relationship.

Organizational chart:
This and other information will assist the auditor in gaining an understanding of your administrative and operational structure.
Policy/procedure manual (if available):
A well-documented policy/procedure manual will guide new, as well as veteran, employees in the established and approved methods of doing business.
Temporary workspace:
Allows the auditors to access original documents that are on-site and/or department level. Disruption of staff operations will be maintained to a minimum during the audit process.
List of major organizational changes:
This includes, management, system and policy changes.
Employee information:
The confidentiality of records reviewed during the course of the audit (i.e.: payroll data, student transcripts, etc.) will be maintained by the auditor(s).
At QShield, we are aware our services impact on people’s lives, and we are always willing to answer inquiries. We realize that beyond the corporate strategies and objectives, we are professionals helping other professionals in various sectors, we take this task very seriously. 
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