July 2012

What keeps you up at night…Who Cares!

Reading Time: 3 minutes Early in my career, I had an audit client teach me a valuable lesson. He taught me (1) there is power in the questions we ask (2) not all clients are forth coming with information and (3) as auditors we need to learn to ask better questions. We were interviewing the client as part of our preliminary planning. The more senior auditors on the engagement directed the questioning. Of course they asked the most popular and probably the least useful question that many auditors ask…What keeps you up at night? The client responded, “Nothing, I sleep very well”. While this was not the ideal answer, it made me question how we “question”. I understand the intent of the “what keeps you up” question. We really want to attempt to understand if our clients have any concerns. But let’s face it, we are auditors. Many clients are not 100% forthcoming. I believe that there are 6 better questions

3 Types of Fraud Figures & How to Recognize and Repel Them

Reading Time: 3 minutes I am not sure if there are more people committing fraud, more getting caught, better fraud news coverage or a combination of all, but there seems to be new fraud stories hitting the headlines daily. There seems to be no shortage of individuals willing to risk their freedom and reputation for a few dollars. They range from small to large dollar amounts, to elaborate & sophisticated or simplistic & stupid. Take for example

1. The million dollar Michigan lottery winner who was recently sentenced to probation for receiving $5,475 in food assistance after winning.
2. The convicted rapist who continued to apply for housing benefits

Excel Error of Epic Olympic Magnitude

Reading Time: < 1 minute In a recent article, I warned of the dangers of a poorly managed Excel strategy. Many organizations simply do not believe damage (whether financial, reputation, compliance, etc) can result from an Excel worksheet. Recently, the 2012 London Olympics suffered an embarrassment because of a worksheet error.

Advance Your Audit Career by Participating in Profession Organizations

Reading Time: 2 minutes Knowledge and Networking are the ultimate keys to career advancement. Historically, obtaining both effectively was reserved for the exteremly seasoned professional The internet, specifically search engines (like Google) and news feed aggregators, have been instrumental in flattening out the learning curve. However, knowledge is only one element to successful career management. It is important that we also develop and maintain a sound support network. Having a support network is just as much about giving as it is getting. Therefore, volunteering your time, talents and knowledge is fundamental to building and maintaining a successful support network. The following is a list of ways internal auditors can

The Tweet That Killed The Company

Reading Time: 2 minutes Organizations must tread diligently in this new world of “tweet” this, “like” that, “pin” those, “Linked” in and “Red” it. Organizations are more and more realizing the impact of social media on their business. We are now starting to see social media policies, social media managers, content writers and other opportunities in this growing field. Many realize that a carefully managed strategy can increase customer base, brand loyalty and sales. When sales are affected, management will adopt policies to drive social media strategy in a direction that best benefits the organization. Now, the question I ask is

Can Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich Reduce BYOD Risk?

Reading Time: < 1 minute The proliferation of bringing personally owned mobile devices into the workplace, and using the devices to access privileged company resources such as email, file servers, and databases is known as BYOD (Bring Your Own Device). It is very widespread. Many of us know people who access corporate email on their personal smartphone or tablet. Organizations should be concerned with BYOD for some of the following reasons

Don’t Forget Historic Risks

Reading Time: 2 minutes What happens when your audit clients substantially or fully remediate identified control issues prior to the final report distribution? Do you (1) remove the item from the report, (2) include the item in the report with the management action plan as if no action has been taken or (3) include the item in the report, credit

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