Planning for a specific audit includes strategic and operational aspects.

Strategically, planning should define the audit scope, objectives and approach. The objectives refer to what the audit is intended to accomplish. The scope relates to the subject matter and the criteria which the auditors will use to assess and report on the subject matter, and is directly related to the objectives. The approach will describe the nature and extent of the procedures to be used for gathering audit evidence. The audit should be planned to reduce audit risk to an acceptably low level.

Operationally, planning entails setting a timetable for the audit and defining the nature, timing and extent of the audit procedures. During planning, auditors should assign the members of their team as appropriate and identify other resources that may be required, such as subject experts.

Audit planning should be responsive to significant changes in circumstances and conditions. It is an iterative process that takes place throughout the audit.

INTOSAI ref. Fundamental Principles of Public-Sector Auditing(pdf) (ISSAI-100).
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