Audit Practices

3 Reasons Internal Audit Clients Refer You to Other Units

Reading Time: 2 minutes 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

I still don’t care what keeps you up at night

Reading Time: 2 minutes 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

How Happy Are Your Audit Clients? Ask Them!

Reading Time: 3 minutes Anyone providing products or services to customers should want to know what customers think about the product/services. Internal Auditors typically solicit feedback through client satisfaction surveys. There are a variety of ways to solicit opinions including live interviews and questionnaires. Successful questionnaires will help audit functions determine how well they are achieving goals and objectives. Many auditor simply copy surveys from other departments. I believe auditors must create surveys specifically for their operating environment. Successful surveys must consider the Stakeholders, the Questions and the Re

When 1 + 1 = 3…Testing Estimates and Assumptions

Reading Time: 2 minutes The Importance of Testing Estimates and Assumptions
Contrary to belief, accounting is not a field that is black and white in application. Organizations are allowed to “estimate” certain items or mark others to fair market value or depreciate some in a manner of their choosing until the book value reaches zero. Each of these has some sort of effect on income statements and balances sheets. In theory, devious organizations can manipulate these items to their benefit. As part of integrated internal audit engagements (i.e. financial, operational, information technology & compliance), it is beneficial for

So You Have an Audit Function, NOW WHAT!?

Reading Time: 2 minutes Many organizations ranging from small to large, public to private are investing in internal auditing functions. Some do it only because they are mandated by law, others because it is a good personnel development tool, and still others realize the benefits of having internal consultants. Organizations can reap substantial benefits from an effectively utilized audit function. However, an ineffective internal audit execution strategy can waste money and time and frustrate audit personnel. The following 4 practices can significantly impact

4 Audit Client Types

Reading Time: 2 minutes I recently wrote about 4 different auditor personality types. This article received a lot of visits, votes and comments. Check it out if you have not already. The purpose of that article was to identify some of the personality traits that we as auditors exhibit. Because communication is a two way street, today I want to discuss 4 audit client personality types. We must recognize

Don’t forget to ask for evidence

Reading Time: 2 minutes Identifying risks and evaluating risk mitigation techniques requires auditors to gather evidence to support conclusions. This evidence must be sufficient, relevant and reliable. Classic textbooks on auditing divide evidence into several categories, however,

Auditors, Embrace Your Non-Expert Status!

Reading Time: 2 minutes Have you ever had a client protest that you could not possibly audit their area because you are not an “expert” at “what we do”? This is a very difficult situation to encounter. Oftentimes, we attempt to “prove” to the client that we are qualified to perform the audit. We begin listing our skills and experience to demonstrate our proficiency. The truth is, we

Beware of the Overconfident Audit Clients

Reading Time: < 1 minutes Have you ever had an audit client who seemed to have all the answers to every query immediately. They have a presence that is either captivating or intimidating or both. They deliver explanations to you with an unmoving confidence. It is important to consider that confidence does not necessarily equate to competence. And overconfidence can

The Power of Observation & Inquiry

Reading Time: < 1 minutes Observation and Inquiry is an important skill set that must be in every auditors toolkit. It requires us to remain objective at all times. I find it interesting how this skill is not only applicable to auditing, but also in “life outside of audit” interactions. I recently wrote about what appeared to be bribery at the London Olympics. Further inquiry disclosed that this normal and acceptable behavior. Well, I have noticed another instance of good observation, ineffective inquiry.

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