If the auditor is an “insider,” fear focuses on the possibility that the insider has some hidden agenda and may be seeking some personal advantage at the expense of the rest. A managerial audit is meant to ensure that the project is being appropriately managed which would be most fairly evaluated by someone outside the project management team. The auditor team also must determine which items should be brought to the management’s attention. Members also must be aloof from personal involvement with conflicts among project team staff. Moreover, the auditor needs to gather information from the project team’s records and those of the Project Management Office, and/or from various departments such as accounting, personnel and purchasing which is a burden that does not need to be passed onto the project management team. Data collection is time-consuming, but careful work is absolutely necessary for an effective, credible audit. Additionally, the auditor must maintain political and technical independence during the audit and treat all materials gathered as confidential until the audit is formally released. Walker et al. (1980) developed a strong case for the independence of the auditor. They argue that independence is essential for management’s ability to assemble information that is both timely and accurate. At times, the detailed audit cannot investigate problems at a satisfactory technical level because the auditor does not possess the technical knowledge needed. In such cases, a technical audit is required. Technical audits are normally conducted by a qualified technician under the direct guidance of the project auditor. However, in the case of advanced or secret technology, it may be difficult to find qualified technical auditors inside the organization. In such cases, it is not uncommon for the firm to use academic consultants who have signed the appropriate nondisclosure documents. Further, considering the audit can be a formal document required by contract with the client, it is better for the evaluator to be from the outside.
Meredith, Jack R., Scott M. Shafter, and Samuel J. Mantel. Project Management: A Strategic Managerial Approach. 10th ed. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley, 2018.
Walker, M. G., and R. Bracey. 1980. “Independent Auditing As Project Control.” Datamation,