Last year, the National Audit Office (NAOF) started collecting customer feedback on its audits on a regular basis. Using the feedback system, NAOF can develop its management practices, interaction and audit processes. According to the feedback for the year 2017, which was mostly positive, customers would like to have audits that support their own activities.
Audited entities are mainly asked to give feedback on the audit process and the success of the interaction during the audit. Customers are also asked to assess the materiality and topical nature of the audit information from the perspective of how the audited entity’s activities are developed. Feedback on performance, compliance and fiscal policy audits is requested after each audit, while feedback on financial audits is requested every two years.
The feedback for 2017 and earlier stakeholder reports indicate that the customers would like to have audits that support their own activities. Such audits would highlight the consultative role of NAOF and the importance of interactive discussions.
Most of the feedback collected last year was positive or very positive. In the open answers on financial audits, customers wanted to have more emphasis on development-oriented audits and less focus on strict adherence to rules. It was also underlined that the auditors must possess information system expertise.
In performance audits, customers wanted more information on the progress of the audit process, especially during and after the audits (follow-up). Feedback on cooperation was positive. NAOF’s customers value interaction and would like to have more opportunities for a dialogue.
Customer feedback plays a central role as NAOF is continuously developing its expertise, interaction and management practices. The feedback is reviewed at departmental level and the public officials at NAOF are notified of the feedback concerning their own work.
The aim is to ensure that NAOF has a systematic monitoring mechanism allowing it to measure the effectiveness of the development work. The feedback was reviewed during the spring at departments, management groups, personnel briefings and the NAOF advisory board.
The feedback system is also used in the monitoring of NAOF’s performance targets. NAOF’s performance targets laid out in the audit plan 2018-2022 include providing decision-makers with up-to-date and material audit and evaluation information for developing operations and ensuring that the feedback on interaction during the audits received from audited entities is positive.
By collecting feedback, NAOF wants, in cooperation with stakeholders, to make the audit process more open, more flexible and more interactive. NAOF’s audit work is guided by the operating principles laid out in the general part of its audit manual (in Finnish).