Corporate Compliance

Five tips for reviewing and testing controls

Healthcare Auditing Weekly, September 20, 2003

To achieve the test results you want, did you know that you can often evaluate your controls simultaneously? Doing this will help you focus your results testing and allow you to identify the corrective actions necessary to address problems indicated by the testing results, says Vickie McCormick, an attorney at Halleland Lewis, Nilan, Sipkins & Johnson in Minneapolis. She offers the following tips for controls reviews and testing:

1. Identify controls
During your audit, check the controls for each of the standards being audited through testing. Controls can range from a checklist, to a stamp, to a sophisticated software program.

2. Review controls

·  If controls appear adequate or strong, proceed with testing

·  If controls appear absent or weak, consider one of these two approaches:

- Test after implementing the corrective action plan to improve controls
- Test prior to implementing the corrective action plan to improve controls

For the rest of these tips, plus more information on choosing when to test controls, choosing a sample size, finding and prioritizing risk areas, and offering meaningful solutions, order the special report "An inside look at compliance auditing and monitoring: Integrating government standards." The cost is $29.

This special report also offers the following: resources and steps to track compliance, practical auditing and monitoring tips, steps for risk-based engagement planning, information on the auditor's role in compliance, sampling techniques to enhance compliance effectiveness, ways to protect privileged information, and steps to use to address your risk of HIPAA noncompliance. Click here for more information or to order.

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