STRATEGIES TO DESIGN COMPELLING AUDIT - Francine Mahak - Compelling Audit Repts.pdf¢  Francine Mahak,

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  • STRATEGIES TO DESIGN COMPELLING AUDIT REPORTS

    Francine Mahak, PhD

    Utah Government Auditors Association June 4, 2019

  • Overview

    1. Address your audience and purpose

    2. Format for Quick and Easy Reading

    3. Make the Message Clear and Concise

    4. Use an Efficient Writing Process

    DO

    FEEL

    KNOW

    TARGET

    DRAFT

    COOL

    REVISE

  • 1. Address your audience and purpose

  • Good communication = Good Thinking

    Think Audience & Purpose

    ■ Who will be reading this? (Multiple audiences? What do

    they know about this? Are they receptive?)

    ■ What for? What do they need to do?

    What outcomes am I looking for?

    DO

    FEEL

    KNOW

    Addressing these questions takes a report from “FYI”

    — to effective and compelling —

    Before writing anything…

  • Present findings in the order most useful to your audience

    Order of Investigation

    Case Specifics

    Finding

    Finding

    Finding

    therefore

    Detailed Conclusions

    & Recommendations

    Appendix

    Order of Report Sections

    Case Summary, Conclusions, Recommendations

    based on

    Case Specifics

    Finding

    Finding

    Finding

    Detailed Conclusions

    Appendix

    What did you find? What do we need to DO?

    (Nitty gritty details)

    different

    0

  • 2. Format for Quick and Easy Reading

  • Selected audit report pages: visually organized, easy to read

  • Xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx. Xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    Xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    Xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx.xxxxxxx

    Suggestion:

    Add “message” captions to the visuals.

    From the text, you could write a caption:

    “Medicaid could not provide reports or sufficient explanation for these wide adjustment variations.“

    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 xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxx . Xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxx. Xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx. Xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx. Xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx.

    Xxxxxx xx xxxxxxxxx xxxx xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxx xsxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxx x xxxxx xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxx

    Xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxx x Xxxxxxxxxxxxxx xx xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    Xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxx!!!

    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 xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxx . Xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxx. Xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx. Xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx. Xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx.Xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxx x Xxxxxxxxxxxxxx xx xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    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 xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxx . Xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxx. Xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx. Xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx. Xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx.

    Xxxxxx xx xxxxxxxxx xxxx xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxx xsxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxx x xxxxx xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxx

    Xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxx x Xxxxxxxxxxxxxx xx xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    Xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxx Xxxxx xxxxxx xxx!!!

    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 xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxx . Xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxx. Xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx. Xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx. Xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx.

    Xxxxxx xx xxxxxxxxx xxxx xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxx xsxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxx x xxxxx xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxx

    Xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxx x Xxxxxxxxxxxxxx xx xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    Xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxx!!!

    Xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    Our eye looks at visuals

    before the text around them

  • More captioning …

    “Spikes may indicate

    services billed but not rendered.”

    “All the subject’s E&M

    profiles are skewed.”

  • 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 wording of Intro findings to the corresponding ones in the report

  • 3. Make the Message Clear and Concise

    - Prefer actives to passives

    - Avoid meaningless phrases that delay your point

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

    Actives: “The Jazz won the game.” (5 words)

    Passives: “The game was won by the Jazz.” (7 words)

    Headless passives: ambiguous! “The game was won.”

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

    1. The authorization was signed by the top manager.

    2. Receipt of your payment is hereby acknowledged.

    3. 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. Use an Efficient Writing Process

  • Write faster and better

    1. TARGET

    – Readers you are addressing?

    – Purpose: what you want them to DO?

    2. DRAFT (quickly!)

    1. Brainstorm content

    ■ In any order

    ■ Without worrying about style or grammar

    2. Organize in order of importance to readers

    3. Write the easiest parts first

    3. SET ASIDE

    4. REVISE

    DO

    FEEL

    KNOW

  • You Can Brainstorm Multiple Sections at the Same Time

    Title__________________________ Audience/s ______________________Purpose__________________

  • Executive

    Summary

    Introduction Background Scope & Objectives Methodology

    Findings Recommendations

    Plan of Action Appendix Glossary Responses

    Evaluation of Responses

     Set 3 minutes at a time

     Brainstorm freely:

    • In all categories at once

    • In any order, then prioritize

    An

    Example

    Title__________________________ Audience/s ______________________ Purpose__________________

  • Executive

    Summary

    • Tomr spo gerthy

    • Lskdfs rer

    • Mofs ewr fsfs oidfg

    • Sdfsdver erwe

    Introduction Background

    • Sdfaskdfsfd

    • Werurew ksdfps

    Purpose 1. Lskdfs rer

    2. Mofs ewr fsfs oidfg

    3. Tifs iosff

    Scope & Objectives

    • Msprw we dfjerdegf

    • Sdfs\e

    • Werurew ksdfps

    • Lskdfs

    • Mofs ewr fsfs

    Methodology

    1. Tifs iosff

    2. Tomr spo gerthy

    3. Lskdfs rer

    4. Mofs ewr fsfs oidfg

    5. Sdfsdver erwe

    Findings • Rewewt sfds weroi were

    • Werurew ksdfps re sd tew