Both Auditors & people being audited need to support a relationship that is closer to a coaching style vs punitive (don't get caught up in the "us against them").

Old ways of thinking are that the Auditor is like a referee and will blow the whistle, give you a penalty, and then lets you continue to play the game without much feedback - except pointing out what was wrong.

Advanced, modern-day Auditors are like coaches. They realize you are in the middle of a game and will identify opportunities to improve, help breakdown (from a neutral and fresh perspective) what things did not go according to plan/system - or where a plan/system was lacking.  Advanced auditors also get more involved and help identify new ways to support you to win the game. 

Help your team and any Auditors understand this concept and the differences between old and new ways of thinking.  Ensure everyone knows they are all on the same team and want the same goals. Ensure it is clear by everyone why the audit is occurring and the value. It is often a specially trained perspective meant to help the project, so ensure the team embraces it as such.

Supporting Details RE: types of Auditors and results:
Internal audits generally verify the accuracy of a team or departments work and check for mismanagement, waste, or fraud. Internal auditors examine and evaluate financial and information systems, management processes, general controls, records, inputs, outputs, tools and techniques. They also can focus on the extent of compliance with internal and external policies, standards, regulations, laws, and commitments.
There are many types of highly specialized auditors, such as environmental, safety, health, engineering, design, technology, systems, management, legal and financial auditors. Audits can help management base their decisions on actual data, rather than personal observation (leads to more objective and accurate results).

Auditors must always recognize limitations that may affect the results (e.g. their personal lack of subject matter expertise in an area, lack of access to a subject matter expert, etc.).  This must be compensated by strong teamwork and participation with the project team being audited.  Once the audit is complete, the finishing touch is the detailed, simple, clear presentation of the findings in a formalized report.  Items included in a report include:
  • project status;
  • project findings;
  • project gaps;
  • project risk;
  • assumptions made;
  • constraints and dependencies found;
  • recommendations.