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Getting the Message Across

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Date(s): May 24, 2021 - May 27, 2021
Time: 8:00AM - 12:00PM
Registration Fee: $289.00
Cancellation Date: May 17, 2021
Location: Online

Course Description

Well-written audit reports can be the difference between an audit group that is perceived as adding value and one that merely exists as required compliance. Unfortunately, delivering audit reports that contain objective-driven, direct, concise, evidence-backed information continues to be a challenge for even the most seasoned internal auditors. Audit reports often fail to deliver the intended message for a multitude of reasons, including their length, lack of a clear objective, overabundance of audit lingo and terminology, buried or lost messages, and not understanding the needs of audience.


This interactive course will address the challenges commonly associated with audit report writing and teach the skills that will ensure your audit reports will be read and your message received as intended. Finally, this course presents the Two-Page Audit Report methodology, which provides a format and formula that ensures your audit reports get read and understood by any audience, including across the highest levels of the organization.

Potential CPE Credits: 16.0
Govt Hours: This class meets 16.0 hours of the 24-hour requirement for governmental CPE under Government Auditing Standards (yellow book), in most cases.
Technical Hours: This class meets 16.0 CPE credits of technical training in compliance with Texas Admin. Code Rule 523.102.

Instruction Type: Live
Experience Level: BEGINNING
Category: 02 Auditing

Course Objectives


 Upon completion of this course, participants will be able to:

         Identifying what constitutes a bad report, a good report and an excellent report

         Fully understanding the audience and their needs

         Aligning reporting objectives with business objectives

         How to properly plan the report

         The Two-Page Audit Report—your readers will thank you

         Using executive summaries

         Using appendices and attachments to reduce length

         Learn effective editing and proofreading



Understanding the Difference Between Good, Bad, and Excellent reports

         Report characteristics

         Good, bad, ugly, and excellent reports

         Report organization and why it matters

         Determining content

         Presentation styles and how to choose

         Visual presentation


Setting Objectives

         Defining objectives – planning the audit and the report

         Aligning audit objectives with business objectives

         Ensuring audit report objectives continue to align with business and audit objectives

         Understanding your audience

         Understanding how the report will be used


The Two-Page Audit Report

         Concise report delivery for executives and board members

         How to determine what to include and exclude

         Focusing on the business and not the audit work

         Presentation styles for concise reports

         Tools, tips, and techniques for concise reports


Executive Summaries

         What makes the cut?

         Determining the level of detail and support

         Using language targeted to executives

         Length and presentation style


Creating the Report

         Starting with the 5Cs

         Designing an assembly process – Organization and layout

         Using appendices and attachments

         Report formats

         Visual reporting

         Virtual reporting


Writing Skills and Techniques

         Focus and framing of topic—business perspective

         Developing key points

         Eliminating audit lingo and using business language

         Editing versus proofreading

         Grammar, spelling, and punctuation

         Concise and concrete yet compelling language

         Editing—when enough is enough



Professionals with at least 2 years of experience in order to draw upon their experience.

Government Hours: 4.23(q)


Mary Breslin

Mary Breslin is the Founder of Verracy Training & Consulting and specializes in Internal Audit transformations, Operational and Financial Auditing, Fraud Auditing & Investigations, and Corporate Accounting.


Ms. Breslin’s career spans over 20 years in Internal Auditing, Management and Accounting for companies such as ConocoPhillips, Barclays Capital, Costco Wholesale, Jefferson Wells and Boart Longyear. With significant International experience, she has managed audit programs in more than 50 countries. Most recently, Ms. Breslin held the title of Vice President and Chief Audit Executive where she transformed a checklist audit function into a value-add audit department which regularly delivered measurable business results through the use of risk-based auditing, data analytics, continuous education and skill development for her leadership team and staff.


Mary was an early adopter of analytics for audit and has been utilizing data analytics in her career in both audit and fraud work for over 15 years. She has transformed the capabilities of audit functions using data analytics programs using ACL, IDEA and Arbutus Analyzer. Through her expertise and guidance, she has helped large global organizations leverage analytics to significantly increase coverage, automate continuous auditing and monitoring, and actively fight fraud.


Additionally, Ms. Breslin has extensive Fraud Audit and Investigation experience and has conducted major fraud investigations on multiple continents including large scale federal cases domestically. She has developed and implemented fraud auditing programs in various industries focused on both accounting and operations.


Ms. Breslin attended Rutgers University and received her BS in accounting, and an MBA from the University of Phoenix while living and working overseas. She is a Certified Internal Auditor (CIA), and Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE). She maintains memberships in the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA), American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), ISACA, the Society of Corporate Compliance (SCCE), and the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) and is currently an instructor and conference speaker for the IIA, The ACFE and ISACA.

Additional Information

TAC Rule 523.142(g) requires the CPE Sponsor to monitor individual attendance and assign the correct number of CPE credits. Participants will be asked to document their time of arrival and departure in compliance with this Rule. Additionally, attendance will be monitored throughout the day and CPE certificates will reflect actual attendance of each participant.

If you are making travel plans to come to Austin, we recommend making "refundable" air and hotel reservations or waiting until 14 days before the class to actually book your reservations. Courses are occasionally canceled or rescheduled due to low enrollment. We determine whether a course has enough participants 16 days prior to the course date. If we cancel or reschedule, we will email the participant and his or her billing contact no later than 14 days before the original class date.

The course coordinator will contact you with parking information. Handicapped parking is free at the meters around the downtown area.

Vending machines with Coca-Cola products and various snack items are available. There is also a refrigerator and microwave in our coffee bar area. Feel free to bring in your own drinks and food if you prefer.

You might want to bring a light sweater or jacket, as room temperatures vary.

To see answers to our Frequently Asked Questions, visit

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