How to tackle a CIA / CISA Exam on technical proficiency

Assessing the proficiency of the audit team is something that most auditors struggle with. Here is a good question that might appear in your CIA or CISA exam.

 

Ransom’s Question – Proficiency of Audit team.

 

What action should the Chief Audit Executive (CAE) do in order to ensure that the technical proficiencies of the auditors are appropriate for the audit engagement?

Select the correct answer:

A – Consider the scope of work and level of responsibility when establishing criteria for education and experience in filling internal auditing positions.

B – Ensure that each newly hired auditor is qualified in all of the disciplines needed to accomplish the department’s audit mission.

C – Oversee a training program that matches the actual training provided with the interests of individual auditors.

D – Require all of the audit staff to pursue a minimum number of continuing professional education hours each year.

 

 

Let us apply the K-E-C approach in answering this question.

 

Please note that the K-E-C approach is as follows:

 

K = Keyword, phrase or stem of the question

 

E = Eliminate two incorrect options

 

C = Choose the best answer for the remaining two options, linking the answer to the Key or K.

 

So let us approach this question.

 

K = Key – The key phrases here are “appropriate”. This question is about an appropriate action to ensure that the right people are assigned to an audit engagement.

 

E = Eliminate two options –.

 

From the above descriptions, we can easily eliminate options B since it states that the CAE should ensure that each auditor has all the qualifications for every discipline in the audit activity. The standard regarding proficiency stipulates that the “activity” should be proficient and not each auditor. Internal audit proficiency is about the team.

We can also eliminate options D since it refers to a minimum number of continuous professional development hours every year. This requirement does not meet the need of proficiency at an engagement level. This option is thus inappropriate.

 

C = Choose the correct answer that lines up with the KEY – We are thus left with options A and C to choose from.

 

Option C states that the CAE should oversee a training that matches the actual training provided with the interests of individual auditors. This option is also inappropriate because the need for training should be based on the scope of an engagement and not the interests of the auditors.

 

Option A requires that the CAE should consider the scope of work and level of responsibility when establishing criteria for education and experience in filling internal auditing positions.

 

This is the correct answer because it matches the scope of the work and level of responsibility to the educational experience and background of staff members.

 

The correct answer is thus A –  “consider the scope of work and level of responsibility when establishing criteria for education and experience”. It agrees with the Key “appropriate”.

 

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