Root Cause Analysis for Internal Auditors - OAG223


Whether an assurance or an advisory engagement, internal audit’s job is not done until we can explain why  systems, processes and functional areas are not working as intended, Root Cause Analysis (RCA) uncovers what happened, why it happened and which changes need to be made. RCA approaches and techniques discussed and practiced in this two-day workshop should be part of every auditor’s toolkit.  

This is a lively and interactive seminar will sharpen auditor analysis, communication and problem-solving skills. Participants will learn to apply the structured process of RCA to their audit practices. In addition, participants learn to balance creative and critical thinking at all five stages of RCA. Through many small group exercises, you will practice problem definition, collecting data, identifying possible causes, narrowing to root cause(s), and exploring solutions. We will discuss the risks and opportunities at each stage of RCA and explore new uses for traditional data collection methods. Prepare to be challenged to think differently and have fun! 


Prerequisite: Fundamentals of Internal Auditing (OAG101)   or Internal Audit School (OAP301)  , or equivalent experience
Advance Preparation: None          
Learning Level: Intermediate
Delivery Method: Group-Live       
Field: Auditing

What you will learn

1. Why Root Cause Analysis is Important to Auditing
• definition of internal auditing
• three questions every audit should answer
• relevant definitions and performance standards
• attributes of audit findings

2. Blocks to Effective Problem Solving
• incomplete problem definition
• categorical thinking
• anchoring
• clinging to status quo
• sunk cost bias
• confirmation bias
• assumptions trap
• conformity trap
• illusion of control
• recall or memory trap
• small group discussion

3. Analyzing Problems Thoroughly
• employ both creative and critical thinking
• three causal categories
• common problems in root cause analysis
• five steps of root cause analysis
• develop clear and complete problem statements
• small group exercises

4. Gathering and Managing Data
• follow up on key components and players 
• change focus to look both broadly and deeply for facts
• determine people, systems, locations where relevant information can be found
• identify sources of information to be analyzed
• endeavor to include diverse points of view on the issues. 
• means of collecting data
- interviews
- questionnaires
- document reviews
- data analysis
- direct observation
- facilitated meetings
- focus groups
- benchmarking/best practices

5. Pinpointing Cause and Effect
• is/is not: transitional tool from data collection to cause identification
• small group activity
• group activity
• brainstorming
• brain writing
• affinity diagramming 
• five whys
• appreciation
• is/is not
• fishbone diagram
• mind map

6. Identifying and Recommending Solutions
• desired-result fishbone diagram 
• gather data/generating options
- interviews, meetings
- focus groups
• evaluating/analyzing options
- 5W2H
- check sheets
• deciding on options
- paired comparison
- multi-voting
- decision matrix
- force field analysis including group exercise

7. Organizational Issues Related to Root Cause Analysis
• consider control environment factors
• consider human abilities
• look for reliance on “softer” controls
• group exercise
• change management definition
• the implementation of solutions
• the change process
• responses to change
• the resistance to change
• group discussion
• conflict management

Further information

ACI Learning
ACI Learning
2 Days
Scheduled dates
Course type:
Amsterdam, Atlanta, GA, Bandar Seri Begawan, Boston, MA, Burlington, MA, Cape Town, Charlotte, NC, Chicago, IL, Dallas, TX, Denver, CO, Dubai, Dublin, Dublin, OH, Hong Kong, Houston, TX, Las Vegas, NV, London, Manila, New York, NY, Oman, Orlando, FL, Philadelphia, PA, San Antonio, San Diego, CA, San Francisco, CA, Seattle, WA, Singapore, Virtual Training Room Only, Washington, DC

Contact Information

ACI Learning

6855 S. Havana St.
Suite 230
80112 USA