Sharpening the axe in auditing

A post today at VeraSage provided a perfect metaphor for audit planning:

Once upon a time, there were two lumberjacks who challenged each other to see which one could cut down more trees in a day. At daybreak, the first one began furiously chopping down trees. He worked up a sweat and by noon he had cut down 16 trees. Meanwhile, the other lumberjack was way behind because he took the first two hours to sharpen his axe. […] By early afternoon, the first lumberjack was slowing down. It took him almost an hour to cut down one tree, while the other lumberjack was catching up fast. […] By late afternoon, the second lumberjack who had sharpened his axe had passed his friend by many trees and won easily.

They associated it with doing away with timesheets, but I was thinking audit planning and prep checklists the whole way. An audit where a little extra time is spent before preparing the client will go that much faster and smoother when fieldwork actually starts.