Risk Based Audit: Principles, Steps, and Benefits

Learn about the key principles and objectives of risk based audit. Discover the steps involved in conducting it, its benefits, and more.


Risk based audit is an approach that prioritizes the identification and assessment of significant risks within an organization. By focusing on key principles and objectives, and following a systematic process, risk-based audit aims to ensure the accuracy, reliability, and efficiency of financial reporting while enhancing internal control systems.

In this article
  1. What is a Risk-Based Audit?
  2. Key Principles and Objectives of Risk-Based Audit
  3. Steps in Conducting a Risk-Based Audit
  4. Benefits and Challenges of Implementing Risk-Based Audit
  5. Creating A Risk-Based Audit Chart With EdrawMax
  6. Conclusion

Part 1. What is a Risk-Based Audit?

The risk based audit process is an approach that focuses on identifying and assessing significant risks within an organization. Unlike traditional audit methods that follow a systematic checklist, this approach relies on a strategic evaluation of potential risks to prioritize audit activities. 

risk based audit process example

Part 2. Key Principles and Objectives of Risk-Based Audit

The fundamental principles of a risk based audit plan center around the identification, assessment, and management of risks. The primary objectives of this approach involve ensuring the accuracy, reliability, and efficiency of financial reporting, enhancing the effectiveness of internal control systems and ultimately protecting the organization's reputation and long-term sustainability.

Part 3. Steps in Conducting a Risk-Based Audit

Executing a risk based audit requires a systematic and well-defined approach. Following the

necessary steps to conduct a risk-based audit is very essential. It guarantees that the risk-based audit is conducted adeptly.

1. Risk Assessment:This involves identifying potential risks, analyzing their likelihood and potential impact on the organization. 

2. Risk Prioritization:Once risks are identified, they must be prioritized based on their significance. 

3. Audit Planning:In this stage, auditors develop a comprehensive plan outlining the specific audit objectives, scope, and methodologies to be employed. 

4. Audit Execution:During the execution phase, auditors perform detailed testing of controls, sample transactions, and review relevant documentation. 

5. Reporting and Follow-Up:The final step includes the preparation of audit reports that

summarize findings, recommendations, and potential areas for improvement. 

Part4. Benefits and Challenges of Implementing Risk-Based Audit

Implementing risk based audit practices offers several advantages. It increases the relevance of internal audit activities by addressing pressing risks and focusing resources on important areas. It also provides accurate and timely insights into risk exposure, aiding leaders in making informed decisions. Additionally, risk-based audit promotes a proactive approach to risk management, enhancing internal controls and operational efficiencies.

However, organizations may face challenges when adopting risk-based audit practices. These can include staff resistance to change, the need for a robust risk identification process, and the availability of skilled audit professionals.

Part 5. Creating A Risk-Based Audit Chart With EdrawMax

Users Wondershare EdrawMax to create a risk based audit plan chart allows for a clear visualization of potential risks and their impact, helping auditors prioritize their efforts effectively. The software's user-friendly interface and extensive library of templates and symbols make it easy to create professional-looking charts, saving time and effort. Create a risk-based audit chart by following the steps given here:

Step 1: Log in to Wondershare EdrawMax

Click on the "Login" button at the top right corner of the page after opening the tool. Enter your credentials and click on "Login" to access your account.

logging in to edrawmax

Step 2: Create a new document

Once you are logged in, click on the plus symbol on the right side of the “New” button. Now, a new document will be opened before you.

creating a new document edrawmax

Step 3. Choose a template

In the workspace of the tool, click on the "Templates" tab on the left panel. Search for a risk based audit chart in the search bar or browse through the available templates to find a suitable one.

searching for a template in edrawmax

Step 4: Customize the template

After selecting a template, you can customize it according to your requirements. Add or remove shapes, change colors, modify text, and adjust the layout to fit your needs. 

customizing a template in edrawmax

Step 5: Add risk elements

To create a risk-based audit chart, you need to include different risk elements. Use shapes and symbols to represent risks, such as triangles or exclamation marks. 

adding risk element to chart

Step 6: Connect the elements

Use connectors or arrows to link the risk elements together. Click on the "Connector" tool in the EdrawMax toolbar, then click on the starting point and drag the connector to the ending point. 

connecting elements in chart

Step 7: Label the elements

Add labels or descriptions to each risk element to provide more information. Type in the relevant information, such as the risk description, likelihood, impact, and mitigation measures.

labelling elements in chart

Step 8: Format the chart

Customize the appearance of the chart by changing the font style, size, and color of the text. Adjust the line thickness and color of the connectors to make them more visible. 

formatting chart in edrawmax

Step 9: Save the chart

Once you have created the risk-based audit chart, it's important to save your work to ensure that you don't lose any progress. Click on the "File" menu and select "Save," or click on the floppy disk icon in the toolbar to save the chart.

saving chart in edrawmax

Step 10: Export the chart

When you are contented with the chart, click on the "File" menu and select "Export" or click on the "Export" button in the toolbar. Choose your desired file format, such as PDF, PNG, or JPEG, and specify the destination folder to save the exported chart.

exporting chart in edrawmax


Implementing risk based audit process practices offers numerous benefits, including increased relevance of internal audit activities, accurate insights into risk exposure, and a proactive approach to risk management. By following the necessary steps and principles, organizations can protect their reputation and long-term sustainability, making risk-based audits an essential tool in today's business environment.

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Edraw Team
Edraw Team Jul 04, 24
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