STRATEGIES FOR DESIGNING COMPELLING AUDIT - Francine Mahak - Compelling Audit ¢  Francine

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  • STRATEGIES FOR DESIGNING COMPELLING AUDIT REPORTS

    Francine Mahak, PhD

    Utah Office of Inspector General June 4, 2019

  • Overview

    I. Use an Efficient Writing Process

    2. Organize to Achieve Desired Outcomes

    3. Style Notes

    4. Format for Quick and Easy Reading

  • I. Use an Efficient Writing Process

  • Make good use of your time and theirs.

    Is this true:

    ■ Your message may be buried among many,

    many others.

    ■ Your readers may have only seconds to look at it.

    Make it quick & easy!

    (By the way . . . do you read everything in your Inbox?)

  • Good communication = Good Thinking

    Think Audience & Purpose before you think of content:

    ■ Whom am I addressing?

    ■ What for? What outcomes am I looking for?

    DO

    FEEL

    KNOW

  • Write faster and better

    1. TARGET

    – Readers you are addressing?

    – Purpose: what you want them to DO?

    2. DRAFT (quickly!)

    – Brainstorm content

    ■ In any order

    ■ Without worrying about style or grammar

    – Organize in order of importance to readers

    – Write the easiest parts first

    3. SET ASIDE

    4. REVISE

    DO

    FEEL

    KNOW

  • You Can Brainstorm Multiple Sections at the Same Time

  • Executive

    Summary

    Introduction Background Scope & Objectives Methodology

    Findings Recommendations

    Plan of Action Appendix Glossary Responses

    Evaluation of Responses

    You can note elements for the whole report.

    Take 3 minutes at a time.

    Fill out/Draft the Easiest Parts First!

    An

    Example

  • 2. Organize to Achieve Desired Outcomes

  • Present findings in order most useful to your audience

    Order of Investigation

    Case Specifics

    ■ Finding

    ■ Finding

    ■ Finding

    therefore

    Conclusions

    & Recommendations

    Order of Report Sections

    Summary of Case, Conclusions,

    and Recommendations

    based on

     Finding

     Finding

     Finding

    Conclusion

    Appendix

    (What did you find, and what do we need to DO?)

    (Nitty gritty details)

    different

  • How a sample of how one of your reports is organized

    ■ Executive Summary

    ■ Timeline

    ■ Data Analysis

    ■ Plan of Action

    ■ Witnesses’ Contact Info

    ■ Conclusion

    ■ Appendix

    Solution + How to Implement

    Supporting Data, with visuals

    Gist: Findings, Recommendations

    More Details – So Report is Concise

  • Not here!

    Date: XX/XX/XXXX To: Xxxx Xxxxxxxx Subject: Maitenance

    XXxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxx Xxxxxx xxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx .

    Xxxx xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxx xxxxx Xxx xxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxx xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxx

    Xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxx xxxxxxxx xxxxxx xxxx xxxxxxxx xxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxx. Xxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx. Xxxxxxx xxxxxx x xxx-xxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xx xxxxxx xxxxxxxxx’ xxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxx xxx Xxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxx. Xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxx xx xxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxx

    Xxxx xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxx xxxxx Xxx xxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxx xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxx

    Xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxx xxxxx Xxx xxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxx xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxx

    Take advantage of how people read

    Put your main message

    and action needed

    in the top focus points.

    Then repeat them

    at the end.

  • Oh No! What if this was in that paragraph?

    Xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxx xxxxxx, xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxx

    xxxxxxxxxxxx, xxx xxxxx, xxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxx. Xxxxxxxxxx

    xxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx. Xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxx

    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx. Xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx. It is

    essential for halting this fraud, to implement these

    recommendations by March 31, 2019. Xxxx xxx xxxxxxx

    xxxxxxxxxx xx xx xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxx. Xxxxxxxxxx

    xxxxxxxxxxxx. Xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx.

    Xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx. Xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxx

    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx.

  • Middle: best place to bury your point!

    Xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxx xxxxxx, xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxx

    xxxxxxxxxxxx, xxx xxxxx, xxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxx. Xxxxxxxxxx

    xxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx. Xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxx

    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx. Xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx. It is

    essential for halting this fraud to implement these

    recommendations by March 31, 2019. Xxxx xxx xxxxxxx

    xxxxxxxxxx xx xx xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxx. Xxxxxxxxxx

    xxxxxxxxxxxx. Xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx.

    Xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx. Xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxx

    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx.

  • 3. Style Notes:

    - Prefer Actives to Passives - Avoid meaningless phrases that delay your point

  • Prefer Actives: "Who Did What”/”Who Will Do What”

    Active sentences have the doer of the action before the action: “The Jazz won the game.” (5 words)

    Passive sentences have the doer after the action: “The game was won by the Jazz.” (7 words)

    Sometimes passive sentences have no doer at all, causing ambiguity: “The game was won. “

  • Your Turn: Make Active Statements Rephrase in terms of “Who Does What”

    1. The permission slip was signed by the manager.

    2. The concerto was performed brilliantly by the symphony orchestra.

    3. Receipt of your payment is hereby acknowledged.

    4. A decision has been made that security measures must be

    improved.

    Write so that readers cannot misunderstand!

  • Avoid meaningless phrases that clutter your message

    False Subjects

    ■ The fact of the matter is …

    ■ It has come to our attention that …

    Redundant Phrases

    ■ Circle around

    ■ Plan ahead

    ■ Mix together

    Weak Verbs

    ■ Effect changes

    ■ Make an announcement

    ■ Hold a meeting

    ■ Become cognizant

    Change

    Announce

    Meet

    Realize

  • 4. Format for Quick and Easy Reading

  • Capitalize on these elements

    ■ Subject line: Same as report title, if thatis what they need to know

    ■ Summary of audit objectives, findings, recommendations

    ■ Headings that give a message

    ■ Captions on visuals – that give a message

    “Spikes may indicate services billed but not rendered.”

  • Audit Objectives

    – Evaluate the controls over adjustments to the eREBS drug rebate accounts

    receivable (A/R).

    – Evaluate whether duties have been adequately separated within the drug rebate

    program.

    – Determine whether Medicaid has implemented adequate controls to ensure that

    […].

    – Determine whether Medicaid has implemented the audit recommendations issued

    in 2008 by Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General (HHS).

  • Audit Findings

    – Medicaid cannot provide detailed reports of all adjustments to the eREBS drug

    rebate A/R … for any of the quarters within the scope of our audit […]

    Xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx.

    – Medicaid has not implemented system access controls to prevent accidental or

    intentional incorrect adjustments to A/R. Xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx. Xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    – Medicaid does not reconcile total claims loaded into eREBS with all claims from

    the State’s pharmacy Point of Sale (POS) system and [….]. Xxxxxxxxxxxxx

    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx…

    (Cont’d)

  • Audit Findings

     Medicaid cannot provide detailed reports of all adjustments to the eREBS drug

    rebate A/R … for any of the quarters within the scope of our audit […].

     Medicaid has not implemented system access controls to prevent accidental or

    intentional incorrect adjustments to A/R.

     Medicaid does not reconcile total claims loaded into eREBS with all claims from

    the State’s pharmacy Point of Sale (POS) system and …

    Suggestion: Match the findings in the Intro to

    the corresponding ones in the report