In the last month I have spent two weeks away (obviously returning home at the weekends!) on site at a client a couple of hours away from London. Not being a Londoner myself, I do appreciate getting away from London from time to time and exploring a new part of the UK. A great thing about away audit is that you get the opportunity to know the rest of your team really well.
Despite being part of the Department of Health team, this audit was for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, which adds good variety to my experience. I find this really interesting, as the issues affecting DEFRA are not necessarily all the same as those that are important for DoH bodies. The audit I was working on was quite sizeable and busy, so there was plenty to do in my two weeks with the team. An element of my job that I particularly enjoy is the liaising with the client and working within their offices; I think that communication skills go a long way in obtaining the information and documentation that you require.
After the DEFRA audit, I came back to London to re-join the DoH team. The client was based not too far away from our office, which was handy. The audit was towards the end, which was a really interesting stage for me to join the team, and necessitated a different approach to my work. As well as the standard testing, I assisted in tying up loose ends and tackling more of the disclosures in the accounts, rather than the main figures themselves, which provides a different perspective. It also involved a review of board minutes, which gives a unique and privileged insight into an entity.
The DoH area team, like other teams in the office, is starting to make preparations for a post-audit summer celebration which is something to look forward to!