CEAVOP

17372572-Audit-Assertions-word-cloud-with-data-sheet-background-Stock-VectorNote: This post was originally published (by me) on March 24 2014 on Linkedin.  You can navigate to the original post by clicking here.

I first heard about CEAVOP a year or so ago.

After he had looked through a presentation the team had prepared, my previous manager, an accountant by trade, gave us insight into how he thinks by explaining and then challenging each dimension of the presentation per his CEAVOP ‘method’. I left the meeting having learned something new – always a bonus!

I have been working in Financial Services for many years and as far as I can remember, I had never heard the term up to that point. I was intrigued – so I Googled it and was really surprised to find a relatively small number of results (the search yielded 1110 results at the time of writing this article, with most results not really being that applicable).

In a nutshell, “CEAVOP is an acronym used to represent assertions of a control in financial auditing”. It stands for:

  • Completeness
  • Existence
  • Accuracy
  • Valuation
  • Ownership
  • Presentation

If you think about it, it is not a bad system to apply to most pieces of work. From my point of view, its value is not just limited to audits. For example: It can also be applied to pretty much any document/specification or even a Project Plan:

  • Is the specification/plan Complete?
  • Are all requirements/tasks represented (Existence)?
  • Are all requirements/tasks Accurate?
  • What Value will the initiative add?
  • Has Ownership been determined for all work, risks, issues, dependencies and any next steps?
  • Has everything been adequately and clearly Presented in the specification/plan?

Try it out on your project – think flexibly when using it. Chances are, after challenging your efforts by applying even some of these assertions, you will have created a greater quality product.

Photo: Courtesy of Google Images