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TIC - AIC All Hands Meeting - Effective Report Writing


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TIC - AIC All Hands Meeting - Effective Report Writing

  1. 1. July 2, 2015 By Renita M. Rhodes
  2. 2. AGENDA WebEx Demo AIC All Hands Purpose Overall AIC Role Best Practices - Report Writing AIC Site 180 Goal Metric Open Discussion
  3. 3. BEST PRACTICES – REPORTING ELEMENTS OF A GOOD AUDIT REPORT Paragraph Readability Report Body Formatting Highlights Page
  4. 4. PARAGRAPH READABILITY Contains only one idea. Has clear, easy-to-read sentences. Is short about 5-6 sentences. Contains short sentences at most 15 -18 words per sentence. Does not include excess evidence and unnecessary anecdotes. Does not have common word wasters. Has the most important sentence at the beginning. Include appropriate transitions between concepts.
  5. 5. REPORT BODY Include ALL Elements of a finding and group from the most critical to least critical. Ensure causes relate to the recommendations. Ensure bullets contain parallel language structure. Ensure the depth of coverage for issues reflect the significance of the findings. Use consistent statistics throughout the report. Present a proper balance between positive and the negative. Proofread The Report
  6. 6. REPORT FORMATTING Use charts, graphs, tables, pictures to add understanding Use descriptive headings to save time for the busy reader. Use white space and bulleted lists to break up dense report content. Note: Make sure graphs and tables are consistent in format and color.
  7. 7. BEST PRACTICES – REPORTING ELEMENTS OF A BAD AUDIT REPORT Terminology Jargon and Technical Terms Use of Inconsistent Terms Use of Undefined Terms Grammar Use of Split Infinitives i.e. “to establish easily” instead of “to easily establish” Use Inconsistent Tense or Subject- Verb Agreement, etc. Fluff, Inactive Voice, and Long Sentences Spacing Mistakes Too Much Space Between Sentences and Paragraphs Recommendations Recommendations Do Not Relate to Root Cause Recommendations Do Not Address Root Cause Recommendations Are Not Actionable
  8. 8. THREE STAGES OF EDITING SELF CRITICAL REVIEW First - Edit for organization •Does the document meet its objective? •Is the organization logical? •Is the content complete? •Does all paragraph sentences develop the central idea, as expressed in the topic sentence? Second - Edit for readability •Will the audience understand the message? •Do the sentences vary in length, and are most of them short? •Are only value-adding descriptive words used? •Have audit buzzwords been removed? Last - Edit for errors (proofreading) •Grammar mistakes? •Misspelled words? •Misused words? •Incorrect amounts? •Correct spacing? •Placeholder text? Note: The easiest way to find more errors is to read from the bottom up during proofreading.
  9. 9. CONTINUOUS REPORT WRITING Report writing should occur through the course of the project. Writing a strong background section on the AAWS and in Teammate will help with the introduction, purpose, scope, methodology sections of the report, which can be drafted during the phase. Audit findings and conclusion should be written as they are developed during survey and fieldwork phases. Consider using a logic diagram, word map, outline, etc. to see how findings might best support the overall conclusion.
  10. 10. PULLING IT ALL TOGETHER Manage the Process Focus on Final Tone / Message Tie Up Loose Ends - Finalize all numbers - Include the entire team - Work backwards from MA date to allow for sufficient review - Address review comments by actually making edits to the report - Follow up immediately if reviewer’s comments are not actionable - Incorporates discussion from Planning / IPR meetings - Findings are presented in order of most to least critical - Cause and impacts are fully explained - Recommendations address cause - Scope is clearly defined - Methodology explains what was done - MI or OI is fully explained - Proofreading has occurred - Language is understandable to a cold reader Engage with management
  11. 11. AUDITOR RESOURCES Use the Proofreading Tools in Word Use Grammarly and their Handbook Read Beth McConnell’s Writing CoP Do not use words found on the Audit Buzzwords List Use the Action Verbs List for Report Recommendations Examine the Self-Review Checklist Review the OIG Style Guide Use the Franklin Covey Writing Advantage Document Planner