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Practice Guide to Auditing Efficiency

Strategic Planning


Strategic planning is an organization’s process of defining its strategy, or direction, and making decisions on allocating its resources to pursue this strategy. In many organizations, this is viewed as a process for determining where an organization is going over the next three to five years.

Knowledge of Business Questions

Potential Audit Criteria

  • How does the strategic plan reflect the importance that the organization is placing on efficiency? Does the plan reflect specific, strategic efficiency initiatives in key areas such as shared services, human resources, procurement, asset management, IT systems, and business process redesign?
  • Has the organization assessed the risks and potential consequences of inefficient operations?
  • Has the organization assessed the feasibility of switching to less costly methods, including shared services, rationalizing the range of goods or services provided, and restructuring the organization, where appropriate, to function more efficiently?
  • Strategic planning—The organization has a strategic planning process that identifies organizational inefficiencies and prioritizes efficiency improvement initiatives.
  • Risk assessment—The organization has assessed the risks and potential consequences of maintaining operations identified as inefficient.
  • Assessing opportunities—The organization continually identifies and evaluates opportunities to improve efficiency.