Practical Flowcharting for Auditors

About the speaker
Matthew Clohessy, CPA, CIA, has six and a half years of experience as an
internal auditor at mid-sized commercial banking institutions where he
specializes in evaluating internal controls over electronic banking delivery
channels, retail and commercial banking operations, loss prevention and
consumer banking regulatory compliance. Prior to his career in internal
auditing, Mr. Clohessy was a network administrator for a small company in
the office design industry for four years, where he was responsible for the
operation, security and maintenance of the company’s IT infrastructure.
Discussion Topics
 Flowchart types
 Benefits of using flowcharts
 Recommended methodologies / application examples
Flowchart Types
Basic flowchart:
Swimlane / Cross-functional flowchart:
Benefits to flowcharts
 Single document that can be used to facilitate
discussion with different levels of management, both
with our auditees and within the audit function:
 Granular process operation discussions with line
 Strategic and process design discussions with mid and
upper management; and
 Operational reliance discussions between multiple lines
of business.
 Efficient way of describing highly complex processes.
 Knowledge gaps in the process are easier to identify.
Flowchart Balancing Act
that stands on
its own
Easy to read
presentation of
the facts
Recommended Methodologies
 Symbol Simplification
 Breakout into action statements
 Swimlanes - Breakout stakeholders
 Layering Notes
 “Table of Contents” Design
 Nesting
 Time Breaks
 Color Coding
How are these symbols used?
Symbol Simplification
Decision Point
Scenario – Accounts Payable Process
 Various departments complete purchase order request forms
in [AP System] for new equipment, office supplies, etc.
 Accounts Payable is notified via e-mail of new entries in [AP
System]. New entries are reviewed to ensure they are fully
completed and that the requestor has adequate purchasing
authority per the [approval list]. Orders over $5k require
approval from the Accounts Payable Supervisor before they
can be processed. [AP System] systemically notifies the
requestor when an item has been approved or denied.
 Treasurer is notified by [AP System] of fully approved
requests and makes the corresponding General Ledger
Starting off:
Avoid having “busy” steps
Break out into action statements
Action Statement Breakout
Updated Flowchart
Which stakeholder is most important?
Breaking out stakeholders
Integrating Notes
“Table of Contents” Design
reference made
to another
document or
Time breaks and color coding
Time break
Color coding to designate
audit coverage

similar documents