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Both government and private business function in an environment that features continually changing approaches and technologies. The current economic and regulatory environment encourages innovation, calculated risk taking, manager empowerment, and greater accountability for results.

Business and government are contending with fluctuating economic conditions, fiscal restraints and organizational change. Managers have more authority and accountability and therefore they require better information. It is within this environment that iQuest Global offers the following audit and consulting services:
Audit & Review: comprehensive audit;
management review;
information technology audit;
audit support
Consulting: program management, operations and support;
system development;
other specialties

Click on the area of interest above for a brief explanation of each service line.

Samples of completed assignments are available upon request.

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Comprehensive Auditing

The term "comprehensive audit" is often used to cover a wide variety of disparate audit and review topics. We use this term to mean the "economy, efficiency and cost-effectiveness" work carried out in accordance with guidance from the Comprehensive Auditing Foundation. These reviews provide an excellent basis upon which to achieve the continuous improvement of business processes.

These reviews are wide ranging in subject and coverage. Specific topics we have been covered include: management controls evaluation; identifying opportunities for productivity improvement; and environmental audits. We can field a very experienced team covering most areas of strategic concern to private sector and government management.

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Management Review

Managers in government and private business are realizing that audit practitioners have much to offer in an advisory capacity. Indeed, many typical audit products have been radically redesigned to benefit from a more flexible review perspective. For this reason, a general review category has been added to our list of services.

These reviews are completely customized, but are based on the structures within which the regular audit work is carried out. This benefits the client manager by offering a controlled and well structured approach to the review of the subject area. We have carried out assessments of management concepts; policies and procedures; Major projects; organizational design; as well as reviewing roles and responsibilities. We are confident in our ability to apply our review process to all areas of management concern.

An area of specific iQuest Global expertise in this topic is the assessment of compliance against the Government Security Policy. We have carried out GSP reviews and more specific security audits in a variety of situations.

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Information Technology Auditing

Information technology remains relatively unfamiliar to many senior managers. With so much now resting on the initiation, development, control and management of critical business systems, a specialized third party review of the management of information technology is an excellent tool to ensure value-for-money is received in this complex area.

Generally, this work entails a review of the information technology management framework, the process to develop and operate computer applications, and the process to obtain, manage and control computer hardware and software. Specific topics that we have pursued include pre and post implementation application reviews, data centre and application security, telecommunications network management, and end user computing. These audits follow a basic structure that is customized to the specific client environment.

An iQuest Global speciality within Information Technology Auditing is the conduct of Systems Under Development reviews. SUDS are widely talked about, but seldom carried out successfully. Often cited complaints about SUD audits include: the inability of auditors to really comprehend the problems; the dynamic nature of the development process and the static, inflexible nature of the audit; the lengthy process of audit reporting; and the inability of the audit to deliver well conceived proposals for mitigating management risk. We have developed an approach methodology to mitigate these problems. We have built an excellent reputation for appropriately dealing with SUD reviews in the government context.

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Audit Support

Audit management is now faced with the growing requirement to provide more flexible service to their clientele. This exerts increased pressure on already thinly stretched audit resources. We have been directly involved in the provision of audit services in the private and public sectors and can bring considerable expertise to bear on changing audit perspectives. We have provided advisory services and support to the audit function in several clients, including: audit planning; identifying areas of concern; developing audit policies and procedures; defining roles and responsibilities; and, developing and implementing computer assisted audit techniques.

iQuest Global training assignments are oriented to audit issues associated with new technologies, the impact of new technologies on the design and implementation of controls, the development of audit and control methodologies, and the transfer of knowledge to auditors and system designers.

Typical assignments include: the development of an audit guide for end-user computing; the development and delivery of a course on system under development auditing, or the on-the-job transfer of information technology audit knowledge through a data centre audit assignment managed by a iQuest Global expert and staffed with internal resources. Courses included data centre audits, system control assessments, and informatics management reviews.

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Program Management, Operations and Support

Our senior people all have direct government experience, or significant consulting experience in government. As such, iQuest Global can draw on considerable program management expertise in creating a solution to any specific management problem. We are familiar with government operations and can offer direct support in the planning and reporting cycle. Specific areas of expertise include: mandate, policy and procedure development; program planning, strategic and operational; organizational design and development; and, performance measurement and productivity improvement.

An iQuest Global speciality in the program area is financial management. Given the current government environment of restraint and even reduction, adequate and accurate financial information is critical. We have expertise in government accounting and financial management, and in several financial computer applications in common use among our clients. We have also maintained a clear knowledge of private sector accounting and financial concerns and procedures.

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System Development

In today's highly competitive business environment, reliable and accurate administrative and operational information is critical. The iQuest Global team has experience in the following aspects of system development: business function assessment and needs analysis; systems integration; integration, pilot and acceptance testing; implementation planning and control; implementation planning and control; and, quality assurance.

An iQuest Global speciality within the system development area is access and security controls design and implementation. A well designed and effective management control framework ensures the quality of information processed by automated systems. Controls must be adequately designed to reduce, mitigate or minimize the organization's exposure to loss, error, or failure, thus ensuring an acceptable level of business risk. Control development is most cost effective when controls are designed and implemented during the system development process. We are assisting systems developers and users to design effective control frameworks that do not compromise operational efficiency. Specific control areas designed include access security, information integrity and reliability, process integrity, auditability, and continuity.

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Other Specialties

Successful completion of any assignment is dependent on subject matter expertise, and on the ability to manage the assignment process. Inadequate project management often contributes directly to project failure whether they are audit reviews, consulting assignments, or other types of projects. We have the appropriate expertise for both managing any specific project, and for reviewing the management of major projects.

iQuest Global adheres to good project management principles, procedures and practices. Through the use of senior people, we can assure our clients that projects under our control: are adequately planned and scheduled; involve well designed monitoring and control provisions, including personnel supervision and budgetary review; and result in appropriate management reporting. Similarly, our reviews of project management verify that these good management principles are adequately implemented.

Other areas of specialization include security program development, and statistical analysis and support. We can carry out the elements of program development as outlined in the Government Security Policy, Threat and Risk Assessments, statements of sensitivity, and classification guides. In the statistical area we have successfully carried out survey and questionnaire design and implementation. We have team members with a background in statistical analysis and research. We also have access to competent informatics and computer operations resources with skills in all areas of Micro Soft technology, ranging from all the Windows environments (95,98,NT and 2000). In addition we have formed strategic alliances with associates who are experts in the field of voice communications including the wiring of drops and PBX.

All of these position iQuest Global well in the market place to deliver top quality products and services to our clients.

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