5 Things Great Internal Auditors Do!

Within every profession, there are certain characteristics, traits, and tasks that mark great professionals. Internal auditing is no different.  Professionals can make the transition from good to great by following these 5 steps. Experience the products/services A few years ago, Domino’s pizza did something daring.  Well, not really. They asked customers what they really thought[…]More

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Three Killer Questions for Internal Audit Clients

Asking questions (observation and inquiry) is one of the most critical internal auditing skills. It allows auditors to gain an understanding of processes, objectively evaluate the function and reach logical conclusions regarding the effectiveness and efficiency of operations. It is important, but often times difficult to remain objective when attempting to understand a client’s process.[…]More

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It would be fun to Audit…

Several years ago while building a new relationship with an audit client, I mentioned that it would be ”fun to audit” Carnival’s cruise ship operations. She responded, ”Why, so you can catch them doing something wrong.” At this point, we had a candid conversation about her perception of internal auditing and what we really do. I explained that it is never our intention to “catch” someone doing something wrong. We are charged with evaluating processes to determine if risks have been identified and are appropriately managed via effective and efficient controls. Fortunately, this client was very open to learning about internal audit. We audited several of her areas with success. She would occasionally joke about our initial interaction by commenting that it would be “fun” to audit process a, b or c in our organization. Except her definition of “fun” was not really all that exciting. it was typically coworkers that were a pain in the but for her. Then one day she asked me, what was the

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Audit Talent Management…Where will you find your next rock star?

Finding talented internal audit professionals seems to be a common problem plaguing audit functions regardless of country, industry and function maturity. Even in this down economy job websites are full of internal audit opportunities. I have spoken with colleagues who have received literally hundreds of applications for one job opening. However they have also commented that

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Boards Beware – 3 Ways to Stifle Internal Audit Under the Guise of Support

By now, many stakeholders realize the value of an empowered and effective internal audit function. These functions provide stakeholders with independent evaluations of an organization’s operating environment. Management also benefits from these independent evalutions, however, global acceptance by management is not as consistent as stakeholder acceptance. I firmly believe some of this has to do with the fact that internal audit functions are often mandated. Few of us like to be told “what to do”. New York Stock Exchange listed organizations are required to have audit functions. NASDAQ recently proposed mandating audit functions for its listed organizations. So if you must expend time, money and efforts on an audit function, why not utilize it to benefit the organization? Thankfully many organization do just that. However, there are some organizations that make a conscience effort to stifle internal audit functions. Moreover, many stifle the activity under the guise of support. Here are three ways a management team can stifle internal audit

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My 3 Biggest Fears as an Internal Auditor

Internal auditing is a rewarding career. Stakeholders trust internal auditors to evaluate policies, processes and procedures to determine if organizations are adequately mitigating risks. This is a huge responsibility. When things are going well, clients often view auditors as the “traffic cop” or a “necessary evil”. However, one of the first questions asked when a control breakdown occurs is “Where were the auditors?” or “Why didn’t the auditors catch this?”. It is a double edged sword. Often practitioners are met

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Internal Audit Leaders Must Be Readers (part 2 of 3)

In a recent article titled Internal Audit Leaders Must Be Readers (part 1 of 3), I discussed the many benefits of reading including increased intelligence, improved communication skills and stress relief.

None can deny the positive impact of reading. Time is probably one of the biggest obstacles to more and better reading. Before the digital revolution, it was necessary to subscribe to many different publications and hope that at least one contained enough items of interest to warrant your time and monetary investment. Thanks to modern technology, there are tools and services that allow you to find, store, sort and filter content for immediate online viewing or later perusal. This article is part 2 of a 3 part series discussing tools to help you become more efficient readers. So, without further ado, the tools:

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The Best Audit is Sometimes the Audit You Never Start

How important is completing the audit plan?  For many audit departments, it is a key performance measurement used to determine the department’s effectiveness.  But wait, I thought the goal of internal audit was to evaluate the operating environment to provide stakeholders with “reasonable assurance” that risk are identified and mitigated to an acceptable level.  So[…]More

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Three Auditors You Should Fire Now

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 develop or let go of slackers. If you are confused about what a slacker looks like, here are three types of auditors you should fire immediately.

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Why did you choose internal auditing as a career?

A client recently asked me why or how did I choose internal auditing as a career. The question got me to thinking, why did I choose internal auditing as a profession? I mean really, who chooses to place him/herself in position where you are:

Constantly learning something new
Continuously interacting with various people across your organization
Helping improve your organizations products/services
I think I chose audit and

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Overcoming Your Audit Fears…Again part 01

Recently, I wrote an article title My 3 Biggest Fears as Internal Auditor. Those fears were:

Missing Something Important
Finding Something Big
Not Making a Difference
There was a poll asking about your biggest audit fears. To date, almost 200 people have voted. A majority of you (66%) fear missing something big. Another 29% fear not making a difference (see poll below and fill it out if you have not). In addition to the poll, many of you sent emails expressing that you have the same fears. Further, some of you added to my 3 via email.

One email was…well…interesting. One person expressed a fear of failing to live up to best practice internal auditing standards. However, he indicated that he would never admit it

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Are Audit Recommendations Obsolete

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

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