Auditors are humble messengers who deliver news to clients. The news is typically an assessment of management’s processes. And let’s be honest, auditors can find something to report in any area, no matter how well controlled the processes. But that does not necessarily mean we should report everything. Realistically, it does not matter what you[…]More
Every person (regardless of age, gender, ethnic background, appearance, intelligence level, whatever) deserves a basic level of respect. It is unfortunate that many work environments do not understand this and operate under an unofficial “class system”. Within this system, some individuals can say what they want, when they want and to whom they want without[…]More
Internal auditors are assurance providers charged with evaluating risks and providing stakeholders with reasonable assurance that risks are appropriately identified and treated. This usually begins with a risk assessment, followed by audit planning, which leads to an audit engagement and finally ending with an audit report containing issues that need to be addressed.
By now, we’ve all seen the standard
I am Still amazed by the number of audit functions that produce audit Reports without providing opinions about the control environment. After all, Internal Auditing is an objective assurance function. There is no way one can provide assurance without a formal Concluding opinion.
December 2012. I had the privilege of authoring an article for the IIA magazine titled “‘Your Opinion Matters”. It is presented below in its entirety with permission from the I IA.
The power of opinions has forever changed the way we purch
We have all heard the terms outsource and co-source. In its basic form, the words mean that organizations have entrusted parts of their operational processes to others. Sometimes this is done to save money while in other instances it allows organizations to tap into a resource of experts that they may not otherwise have exposure to. Either way, in this marriage of sorts, it is important to understand
Understanding processes, performing testing and evaluating risks & controls not only require good communication skills but it also means auditors must be competent note takers. Good auditors must have a well-organized approach to taking, reviewing and refining notes. Some take detailed notes, while others use outlines. Regardless of the method, it is important to take notes consistently and unobtrusively. Any change in note taking may disrupt the process and cause the interviewee to alter his/her responses. The actions taken shortly after the interview are almost as important
Internal Auditing is a profession that is open to quite a few different types of individuals. What I mean by that is, auditors can derive from varied background including accounting, finance, computer science, science, English, literature, biology, chemistry, social services, etc. As a result, it can be difficult to nail down the skills necessary to succeed. The Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) developed an Internal Auditor
The phrase “it is better to give than to receive” is applicable to most areas of our lives. Studies have shown that those who participate in volunteer activities live better lives. Further, contrary to popular belief, nice guys do not finish last. Acts of kindness are important to build relationships of trust and respect.
I was fortunate to work with a few experienced professionals early in my career who taught me about the power of genuine kindness. I recall
I have had the privilege of working for or with some really great Chief Audit Executives over the years. They have taught me many valuable lessons, but one that sticks with me is “Tell them what they need to know.” To take it a little further, this person made me understand that there is nothing to fear as long I operate truthfully and
Have you ever had audit clients refer you to or suggest (sometime strongly) that you audit specific areas in the organization? What do you think about this? My thoughts have changed over time.
In the past, I believed that audit clients would provide referrals to “throw other units under the bus” or to get us away from their areas of responsibility. You
Curiosity killed the cat is a metaphor used to convey the dangers of questioning the status quo. It is often used to discourage people from asking questions. However, there is true productivity and power in asking questions. Imagine if the Wright Brothers had not asked, can man fly like a bird or if Henry Ford[…]More
Internal Auditing is a profession that requires diverse skill sets. For example, there are auditors who specialize in construction, medical billing, pharmaceuticals, and information technology. Additionally, jobs for auditors seem to be fairly plentiful. As a result, hiring, developing, and retaining talented audit professionals can be a challenge. When faced with hiring dilemmas, auditors tend to place the blame on many external factors such as no funding/support or lack of local qualified talent. This may very well be true, however, the real talent problem may be more close to home and directly related to how we search for talent.
Take, for example, most internal
Have you ever read an audit report that contained issues that seemed to ramble on forever with no clear thought process or unnecessary language that expands a simple item into a small booklet? Why do some auditors do this?
The distribution list for audit reports
Most audit clients understand that the purpose of an audit is to perform an independent evaluation of functions to determine if operations are effective and efficient. It is a strenuous process on clients. In many instances, it may not be enjoyable, however, most clients tend to respect the process. Occasionally, there are clients who exhibit behavior that is less than mutually respectful. I have said it before, being audited is just as stressful as auditing. I have personally seen clients scream, curse and toss items. While some clients are simply wired to be difficult (see related article on audit client types), I truly believe that a majority of clients are mature enough to
In a recent article, I asked “What is the Best Interview/Note Taking Style for Internal Auditors?” This was part one of a two part series where I introduced 3 interview and 2 note taking techniques. Many of you responded to the polling questions asking about your favorite technique. Several of you posted responses in LinkedIn groups. Further, many of you sent nice emails (I like and respond to emails). Newsletter subscribers received two additional tips in the December issue. If you missed part one, read it here (What is the Best Interview/Note Taking Style for Internal Auditors?)
In this article, I would like to introduce/review a tool that can increase note taking efficiency. The typical
In a recent Harvard Business Review article John Coleman states that “deep, broad reading habits are often a defining characteristic of our greatest leaders and can catalyze insight, innovation, empathy and personal effectiveness”. He also
Internal Auditors are charged with evaluating control environments and providing solid conclusions on the effectiveness and efficiency of processes. This requires a substantial amount of observation and inquiry. This means we must ask great questions and be effective listeners. Listening, however, is one of the most
As a kid, I remember my grandfather growing fruits and veggies on a track of land not quite small enough to be a garden but yet not big enough to be a farm. Much of what was grown was for family use. Some was grown to be sold. He used very little automated
Every auditor has or will face situations where clients significantly pushback on audit issues. Internal Auditing is an independent and objective function tasked with evaluating management’s risk identification and mitigation strategies. However, when presenting potentially reportable items to management, that objectivity can sometimes disappear as auditors began vigorously
Again…better questions to ask your audit clients
I recently wrote an article titled “What Keeps You Up At Night…Who Cares! 6 Better Questions to Ask Audit Clients”. The major premise stressed the fact that auditors truly need to ask the questions they really want answered. Asking a client “What keeps you up at night” is terrible, for one, because