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Monday, October 17, 2011

Why auditing is increasingly resembling TQM

During my B.Com days,  I had multiple chapters on TQM, and then felt it to be totally irrelevant to what a chartered accountant would do in practice. But after studying for CA Final, some insights which I've got are shared below, which would bring out the essential similarity between the two
  • Tone from the top:-This is the basic premise of TQM and is increasingly being adopted for audits. Read any audit report and they state that keeping effective internal controls is the job of management. So management turns around and informs the employees that risk is everyone's job
  • Build in quality rather than inspect:-TQM prefers to build quality rather than reject defective products. Similarly, due to the quantum and volume of work, auditors now rely extensively on process integrity. Even Computer Assisted Audit Techniques(CAAT) can only do so much, and are quite difficult and expensive to apply.
  • Controls are everyone's concern:-This is applied in most organizations nowadays, with all employees being told to handle risk
  • Process over product:-Rather than a tick box mentality, the focus in auditing(TQM, financial, internal) is to fix the process rather than routinely complain about the defects.
There are other points as well, but these salient points caught my attention

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