1st Edition

Radical Reporting Writing Better Audit, Risk, Compliance, and Information Security Reports

By Sara I. James Copyright 2022
    254 Pages 29 B/W Illustrations
    by CRC Press

    254 Pages 29 B/W Illustrations
    by CRC Press

    Most people dread writing reports; they also dread reading reports. What they don’t realize is that the techniques that make writing more readable make it more powerful. This is especially relevant for professionals in areas such as audit, risk, compliance, and information security.

    This small volume provides the tools and techniques needed to improve reports. It does so through addressing crucial concepts all too often overlooked in the familiar rush to perform tasks, complete projects, and meet deadlines.

    These concepts – the role of culture in communication; the link between logic and language; the importance of organizing thoughts before writing; and how to achieve clarity – may seem academic or theoretical. They’re not. Unless writers understand their own thoughts, actions, and objectives, they cannot hope to communicate them at all – let alone clearly.




    Part 1: Words in the mind


    Chapter 1: Communication and culture

    Chapter 2: Communication within and among teams

    Chapter 3: Clarity – the theory


    Part 2: Words on the page


    Chapter 4: Clarity – the practice
    Chapter 5: Planning 

    Chapter 6: Structure and layout


    Part 3: Words into action


    Chapter 7: Findings or observations, and recommendations

    Chapter 8: Executive summaries 

    Chapter 9: Reviewing – making the gain outweigh the pain





    Sara is an internationally recognized expert in internal audit communications, delivering tailored report-writing and other training to internal audit, risk and compliance teams worldwide (www.saraijames.com). With over 30 years' academic, teaching, writing, publishing and corporate experience in the US and Europe, she brings a wealth of varied yet specialist expertise to clients and audiences. Clients include multinational blue-chip organizations in sectors as diverse as finance, oil and gas, pharmaceuticals and aerospace; national and local government; legal and medical professionals; and charities. As a member of the Chartered Institute of Internal Auditors (UK and Ireland) Technical Guidance Working Group, Sara has produced many governance, risk and internal audit advisory pieces. Topics include Covid-19-related working practices; privacy legislation (GDPR); taxation (IR35); auditing cultural and heritage entities; and of course reporting. Sara has also produced articles on clear writing for Audit & Risk magazine, and spoken at numerous audit conferences and heads of internal audit forums. Sara is the official rapporteur for the annual international defense internal audit conference. In this role, she is responsible for producing a definitive report that meets UK Ministry of Defence standards and is read by specialists at NATO, NGOs and multiple national European defense departments. Finally, Sara has been fortunate to live, study and work in different countries, including the US, the UK, France and the then-Soviet Union, and speaks five languages. These experiences and skills give her invaluable insight into cross-cultural communication and multi-national teams. She is also a recognized internationally scholar on language and literature, and is regularly asked to contribute essays, articles and conference papers.

    ‘If I were giving out an award for "book of the year" for internal audit professionals, I would certainly award it to her outstanding manuscript: Radical Reporting: Writing Better Audit, Risk, Compliance and Information Security Reports.’ - Richard Chambers, Former President and CEO, The Institute of Internal Auditors