Key Standards for Ethics and Independence in Audits
There are several standards that the auditors in law enforcement and ethics need to meet to perform their duties professionally. One of the crucial standards in this field is independence. Independence refers to the absence of connections between the auditor and the subject of the audit. Independent auditors evaluate the activities under investigation without letting them sway their conclusions. Therefore, if an auditor cannot exercise complete independence, the audit report should include notes outlining this situation (Marwa, 2021). Small firms might not be feasible to hire independent auditors for every internal audit. In these situations, the organization should take every precaution to guarantee the audit’s objectivity.
The second ethical standard is integrity. Integrity is the quality of being genuine, equitable, and honest in all facets of the auditing process. It also implies without harboring any prejudice or bias. Integrity is crucial because it guarantees the quality of the audit report. Auditors need to be able to assess the data they gather with objectivity. They must refrain from letting their viewpoints color their conclusions. Additionally, auditors must not take gifts from the auditing firm (Marwa, 2021). Gifts are seen to jeopardize auditors’ credibility. Even the notion that an audit’s integrity has been compromised might harm its credibility. The third concept is objectivity. This refers to the essential ethical guideline and component of high-quality audits. It demands that prejudice, conflicts of interest, or improper outside influence should not affect the external auditor’s assessment.
Lastly, auditors should exhibit confidentiality. When auditors carry out audits, they often collect information from various sources. Auditors are obligated to maintain confidentiality about sensitive information. In addition to this, they are obligated to maintain the privacy of their client’s private business. Moreover, they are responsible for protecting their work output. Only those individuals with a legitimate need to know this information should be granted access to see it.
Key Areas in Audit Reports
The audit reports comprise the information system control of internal control that depends on the processing of information systems, including user controls, application controls, and general controls. Information systems available controls are the rules and procedures that apply to all of an entity’s information systems or a significant portion of its information systems. These controls may be implemented at the entity-wide, system, and application levels (GAO, 2018). Creating an environment conducive to the effective operation of application controls is one of the primary ways in which general controls contribute to the integrity of the workings of information systems. In addition, available controls include contingency planning, division of roles, configuration management, physical and logical access management, and security management.
Another critical area in audit reports is Application Controls. During the processing of an application, these controls are directly implemented into the computer programs to assure the confidentiality, correctness, completeness, and validity of any transactions and data being processed by the application. The application’s control includes administration of the data management system, the interface, the master file, the output, the processing, and the input.
Lastly, we have User Controls, parts of controls carried out by individuals engaging with information system controls (GAO, 2018). When a user control’s efficacy depends on the processing of information systems or the dependability (validity, correctness, and completeness) of information that information systems have processed, the user control is said to be a control of information systems.
How The Government Auditing Standards Can Be Helpful to Law Enforcement Agencies
The likelihood of a successful transformation may be considerably increased by using best practices and government audit standards. Many instruments employed in this method have applications beyond the transformation process to improve fundamental internal audit procedures. Since there are no specific recommendations for good governance processes, internal auditors have an outstanding obligation (Kend & Nguyen, 2020). Identifying the factors that influence governance is one-way government auditing standards may be helpful to law enforcement organizations. The agencies get frequent updates on risk-aversion plans from the auditors, who also fine-tune their understanding of effects.
They also improve the agency’ adaptability and flexibility. Internal auditors often use aggressive and innovative tactics to provide value, protect assets, and advance good governance. Finally, when fully integrated inside the agency, the Government Auditing Standards prioritize making management and organizational goals emphasize internal auditing practice (Kend & Nguyen, 2020).
How Internal/External Audits Prevent Problems, Provide Correction, And Recognition Of Superior Policies Or Work Product
Internal/external audits may play a significant role in solving various problems. For instance, they seek to identify and manage risks that might influence the intended outcomes of an organization’s operations. Specifically, concerns affecting operational risks and information system controls, protections against fraud risks, policies and procedures in place, and correct processing may be uncovered through internal audits.
In addition, internal audits are pretty essential to accomplish the correctional aims. Since an internal audit examines what matters, quality should also be a primary focus of this auditing. One of the most critical aspects of the Internal Audit Value Chain is maintaining a sharp focus on quality, in addition to its close relative compliance (IAVC) (Ugoani & Ibeenwo, 2022). Also, it assists in acknowledging superior policies since it plays an integral part in improving an organization’s performance. This is one of the primary benefits. Companies might benefit from the assistance of internal auditors in determining significant risk concerns. Because of this, businesses can foresee possible future issues and detect vulnerabilities in their operations. In addition, it allows the organization to recognize processes and controls that are not operating efficiently and provides a chance to enhance these areas.
Challenges of the Audit and the Important Information for the Audit
In the course of my adventure, I anticipate encountering several obstacles. I believe that a lack of communication is one of our challenges. There is a probability that the police organizations I may audit will be unable to comprehend the range and the aim of my audit program, in addition to the danger I provide. Because of this, it has the potential to create an atmosphere in which the individuals I am interviewing become less helpful and more secretive with their responses, maybe even becoming antagonistic as a result. Besides, the audit may be filled with guilt and blame, both humiliating and counterproductive (Fairley, 2020). As a consequence, it might end up being humiliating and ineffective. The study of police kills, the circumstances that contribute to police brutality, and the solutions that should be implemented to deal with police brutality will all be included in the audit, which is one of the essential pieces of information that may be included in the audit.
Fairley, S. R. (2020). Survey Says?: US Cities Double down on Civilian Oversight of Police despite Challenges and Controversy. Cardozo L. Rev. De-Novo, 1.
GAO (2018). Government Auditing Standards 2018 Revision. https://www.gao.gov/assets/gao-18-568g.pdf
Kend, M., & Nguyen, L. A. (2020). Big data analytics and other emerging technologies impact the Australian audit and assurance profession. Australian Accounting Review, 30(4), 269-282.
Marwa, T. (2021). The effect of competence, experience, independence, due professional care, and auditor integrity on audit quality with auditor ethics as moderating variable (Similarity).
Ugoani, J., & Ibeenwo, G. I. (2022). External Audit Process Failures: Unethical Practices and Business Demise. Business, Management and Economics Research, 8(1), 1-11.