The Office of the Auditor General of Ontario (OAGO) is an independent Office of the Legislative Assembly that conducts value-for-money (VFM) and financial audits of the provincial government and its ministries and agencies. It also audits organizations in the broader public sector that receive provincial funding.
In 2022, I joined the OAGO’s editorial team for a second season to edit and proofread several VFM audit reports (i.e., reports on audits that assess whether taxpayers are getting value for their money), follow-up reports on past VFM audits, and chapters for the 2022 Annual Report.
From July to October 2022, I edited the following reports and chapters for the OAGO’s 2022 Annual Report:
- Management of Invasive Species (Value-for-Money Audit) (78 pages)
- Financial Services Regulatory Authority: Regulation of Private Passenger Automobile Insurance, Credit Unions and Pension Plans (Value-for-Money Audit) (92 pages)
- Ontario Power Generation: Management and Maintenance of Hydroelectric Generating Stations (Value-for-Money Audit) (49 pages)
- The Public Accounts of the Province of Ontario (68 pages)
- Office of the Auditor General of Ontario Operations Report (30 pages)
- COVID-19 Preparedness and Management Special Report Chapter 2: Outbreak Planning and Decision-Making (Follow-Up on 2020 Value-for-Money Audit) (20 pages)
- COVID-19 Preparedness and Management Special Report: Chapter 3: Laboratory Testing, Case Management and Contact Tracing (Follow-Up on 2020 Value-for-Money Audit) (17 pages)
- COVID-19 Preparedness and Management Special Report Chapter 2: Outbreak Planning and Decision-Making (Standing Committee on Public Accounts Follow-Up on Value-for-Money Audit, 2020 Special Report) (12 pages)
- Setting Indicators and Targets, and Monitoring Ontario’s Environment (Follow-Up Report)
In my work editing the reports, I did the following:
- Ensured the writing was clear and concise
- Eliminated spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors
- Made highly complex/technical language simple to understand for the layperson audience
- Revised the copy to better communicate impact (the “why should I care?”) to the reader
- For some reports, suggested structural changes to create better flow or to reduce the report length as required
- Provided comments and suggestions to the teams to help them develop clearer and more impactful writing
- Created a Style Sheet for each report to ensure a high degree of consistency throughout the copy
- Adhered to the OAGO Style Guide, other in-house guides, and the Chicago Manual of Style to ensure accuracy and consistency of formatting, terminology, names, etc.
- Frequently communicated with the audit team members via email and calls
- Attended report challenge meetings with the audit team, Auditor General, and Assistant Auditor Generals
- Attended editorial/communications team meetings
- Developed rapport and a collaborative approach with the teams to make the editing process easy and enjoyable
- Met extremely tight deadlines while producing high-quality work
“Janice provided exceptional copyediting for a value-for-money audit report that I managed. Her attention to detail helped to detect tonal inconsistencies, correct grammatical typos, avoid passive voice, and get the complete message across to readers in a concise manner. She produced excellent work in a fast-paced, tight-deadline environment.
The final report is much clearer for the target layperson audience than it would have been without her help, as she was able to effectively convey complex, technical subjects in an understandable way. I absolutely recommend Janice for copyediting.”– Thomas Fitzmaurice, CPA (Auditor, Office of the Auditor General of Ontario) / Management of Invasive Species Report
“Working with Janice on a report from the Office of the Auditor General of Ontario was a fantastic experience. Her communication and collaboration skills made each step along the way easy and efficient. She produced top quality work with an incredibly small turnaround time. Her flexibility with work schedules was very impressive and aided the entire team. Having her as part of the team made the report better and eased the writing process. I highly recommend Janice as an editor.”– Jeremy Found, CPA (VFM Senior Auditor, Office of the Auditor General of Ontario) / Financial Services Regulatory Authority Report
I edited the following sections for each VFM report: Summary, Background, Audit Objective and Scope, and Detailed Audit Observations (including the audit recommendations). I suggested structural edits for each report that resulted in a more logical flow of the information, and edited the Summary and Detailed Audit Observations to better convey the impact of the audit findings on Ontarians.
(The follow-up reports include an Overall Conclusion, Background, and the findings.)
I also edited the report figures and appendices – first in Word, then in Adobe Acrobat – which included tables, pie charts, bar and line graphs, and flow charts.
As these comprised a significant portion of each VFM report, it was important to work closely with the design team to ensure the figures and appendices were clear, accurate, and consistent with the in-house style guidelines.
“It’s often hard to find an editor who feels like a true partner, but that’s exactly what I found in Janice while I worked with her on one of my value-for-money audit reports in 2022. ‘Effective’ and ‘efficient’ are two adjectives that come to mind when I think about Janice. I was particularly impressed by Janice’s ability to understand and simplify technical information into a form that can be understood by ordinary people.
I was also amazed by Janice’s time management skill given our tight timeline, as she was not only able to complete the basic edits within a very short time, but also able to provide insightful comments or suggestions that helped improve the audit report. Last but not least, Janice has a fantastic personality – super friendly and approachable! If you’re looking for an editor or a writer, I’d wholeheartedly recommend hiring Janice, who would be a true asset to any client or team!”– Gigi Yip (Audit Director, Office of the Auditor General of Ontario) / Ontario Power Generation Report
In November 2022, I played a significant role in the proofreading process leading up to the tabling of the 2022 Annual Report.
In just three weeks, I proofread 10 (53%) of the 19 VFM reports and 21 (64%) of the 33 follow-up reports, helping the team to meet an extremely tight deadline under high pressure.
Proofreading the reports entailed marking up any egregious spelling, grammar, and punctuation mistakes as well as formatting/layout errors in Adobe Acrobat for the design team to correct.
I then reviewed the revised proofs to ensure all the requested changes were accurately implemented (I completed this step for almost all 33 follow-up reports).
Once again, it was an absolute pleasure to work with the OAGO’s audit teams and communications team, and to play an even bigger part in the editing process this year. Many thanks to this outstanding client for our work together!
“I highly recommend Janice for her editing and communication skills. She worked with us as a consultant editor for the past two report seasons and has demonstrated excellence in copyediting and proofreading. Always efficient and collaborative, Janice is pleasure to interact with and she is utterly reliable as well. An evolved communicator, Janice appreciates the nuances and the importance of building rapport while working largely remotely. Janice’s hard work and support was crucial to our team’s success.”– Karen Skeaff (Manager, Editorial Services and Lead Writer/Editor, Office of the Auditor General of Ontario)
Work With Me
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“Janice and I worked together this past year as she was an editor on one of our office’s audit reports. Throughout the entire editing process, she was amazing to work with. Not only does she excel in communicating with and being social with the team, her work was always turned around very quickly and well. Through touchpoints such as Microsoft Teams, email, or phone calls, she always made herself available to get the job done.
Her skills as an editor were an asset to our team as she found many errors and redundancies in the material that we as a team did not pick up on. Her contributions to the flow of the report were effective and helped get the final product completed in a timely manner. Overall, Janice was a pleasure to work with and I would recommend her to any organization looking for a dedicated, efficient and overall great worker. Thanks Janice!”– Romeo Segota, CPA (Audit Supervisor, Office of the Auditor General of Ontario) / Financial Services Regulatory Authority Report
“Over the past year, I had the pleasure of working with Janice who performed copy editing of a technical audit report I was working on. She did a great job at making technical and complex ideas simple to read and understand. I was impressed with how thorough she was and her ability to work with whatever deadlines that were provided to her. She was very responsive and easy to deal with and I would welcome the opportunity to work with her again in the future.”– Michael Yarmolinsky, MBA, CPA, CA, CISA (Audit Director, Office of the Auditor General of Ontario) / Financial Services Regulatory Authority Report
Find out more about my copy editing services, including my rates, at the link below.