6. Actioning and monitoring the plan

The project manager should actively monitor progress against the plan and schedule, ensuring that the plan and schedule is updated as required.

Better practice entities implement some or all of the following:

  • track the progress of activities against the schedule, for example check if planned activities, meetings and critical milestones are occurring on time
  • ensure that the CFO, other financial statements team members, accountable authority, audit committee and other stakeholders are regularly updated on progress against the schedule
  • monitor and review financial statement risks throughout the financial statement process and update the schedule and/or plan where required
  • as the schedule changes, provide the updated schedule to relevant stakeholders
  • provide timely advice and guidance to the financial statements team and business areas
  • build in quality checks, such as reviews of supporting documentation and working papers at critical milestones
  • maintain contingency plans such as using back-up and/or temporary staff, or reaching prior agreement with staff to work overtime
  • address, and escalate where appropriate, significant issues promptly, consider their impact and implement corrective action
  • periodically brief senior management and the audit committee regarding progress against the agreed timetable.

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