Audit Practices

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

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

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

Overcoming the 5 Classic Myths About Internal Auditing

Reading Time: 2 minutes In a recent article, Richard Chambers, IIA CEO, identified the following “Five Classic Myths About Internal Auditing”

Internal auditors are accountants by training.
Auditors are nit-pickers and fault-finders.
It’s best not to tell the auditors anything unless they specifically ask.
Internal auditors follow a cycle in selecting their audit “targets” and use standard checklists so they can audit the same things the same way each time.
Internal audit is the corporate “police function.”

These “myths” are spot on. But how do we overcome the

When Exit Meetings Go Awry

Reading Time: 3 minutes Are your exit meetings oftentimes explosive events in which you and your client are in consistent disagreement about the issues? Or, do you find that sometimes your clients are surprised by the nature and extent of the issues. Exit meeting preparation and communication begins well before the formal exit meeting. As a matter of fact, it begins prior

Building Credibility with Audit Clients

Reading Time: 4 minutes In 2007, I found myself working for what would soon become a failed financial institution. That is a nice way of saying that the bank would no longer be in business. I spent the previous 8 or so years in the financial services industry. Unfortunately, internal auditing jobs in the industry were not plentiful in the city where I lived. Grant it, I have experience in several industries, but I was able to truly connect with clients in financial services. For quite some time, I thought I was able to relate because I had some expertise in the industry and could “speak the language”. The next 5 years taught me a lot about my role in the profession of internal auditing and some fundamental truths about working

4 Factors to Building a World Class Audit Function

Reading Time: 3 minutes Dictionary.com defines “world class” as ranking among the world’s best. So what does that really mean for an internal audit department? The scope and nature of an auditor’s job varies by organization, size and region. As a result, “world class” is difficult to clearly define. However, there are a few characteristics that can enhance the value an audit function delivers to an organization. I believe these characteristics surround the Personnel, Practices, Perception and Partnerships

Protect your office from Goldilocks

Reading Time: 2 minutes Criminals and villains are oftentimes portrayed as menacing, ugly figures. Take for example, the Big Bad Wolfe or Goliath. These figures are easy to recognize and the mere thought of them brings fear to many children. In business, we tend to focus on the easily recognized risks while ignoring meek and unassuming items that slowly eat away at the heart of business.

A hard hat and a clipboard will get you everywhere!

Reading Time: < 1 minute It is a well known fact that carrying a clip board can get you into almost any business.  Depending on the circumstances, a clip board and a hard hat can get you into place that you may otherwise not be able to access.  Many con men have used this technique.  That is why, a recent news story about an attempted robbery of a Dunkin Donuts should be of no surprise to anyone.

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