The war for audit talent is very competitive. Finding, developing and retaining talented professionals can be very difficult. Oftentimes, bad auditors remain at organizations because managers are either too lazy or too afraid to (1) identify talent gaps and develop employees with appropriate training or (2) let go of blatant slackers (because training does nothing for slackers). If you are confused about what a slacker looks like, here are three types of auditors you should fire immediately.
The Know It All
This is usually the auditor who has worked in the industry for a very long time and has accumulated a lot of wisdom. On the surface, this is a good person to have on your team, however, in reality this person is mutilating department moral and derailing client relationships.
The Know it all thrives on the attention from other staff members seeking him out for assistance. He gladly helps when needed, however, he does not promote and encourage employee growth. He provides information in a manner that requires employees to constantly seek him out. He becomes a crutch instead of a teacher or mentor. This is dangerous because it prevents employees from becoming the best that they can be.
With clients, the Know it All attempts to provide solutions before understanding the area under review. You’ve seen them in entrance meetings, “The last time we were here there was problem with abc. I bet that problem still exists.” Or “You should do it this way”. The Know it All does not exercise objectivity and therefore will be ineffective when evaluating control environments.
The Quitter is typically good at observation and inquiry. They are objective and provide sound audit recommendations. However, the Quitter has issues completing audit engagements. This person typically hates completing/documenting workpapers and writing reports. These are elements of the audit process that keep them from being more productive. The Quitter typically suffers from burnout at the end of engagements (but don’t we all). This results in incomplete documentation, delayed reports and budget overruns.
The most dangerous is the Liar. This auditor does not intend to lie. Oftentimes, they are incompetent in a certain area and mask the incompetence with lying instead building their skills. For example, have you ever met an auditor who was charged with reviewing an area they were not familiar with? Sure you have, it happens all the time. We are risk, compliance, and process experts, but not necessarily experts in everything our clients do. When faced with this situation, the Liar will attempt to “fake it” instead of learning the industry or processes. This is dangerous. The Liar prevents the completion of productive engagements. The evaluation of the control environment is not based on a truly objective review. This compromises the integrity of the entire audit.
There you have it, at least three types of auditors you should fire now.
Can you add to this list?