Communication

What is your auditor personality type?

Reading Time: < 1 minute Auditors frequently encounter various types of clients with personalities ranging from shy to overzealous. The personalities and behaviors are oftentimes topics of discussion. However, in this article, I would like to discuss auditor personality types. I believe that there are at least 4

Internal Auditing, Observation, Inquiry, Bribery, Olympics

Reading Time: 2 minutes The scope of an auditor’s job expands constantly. One major aspect of the function is to guard against fraud. Auditors perform a variety to techniques to test for fraud. Two of the most essential fraud discovery techniques are observation and inquiry. Done right, auditors can become valuable organizational assets. Done wrong, auditors can be viewed as overzealous obstacles.

To be successful, auditors must

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

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

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

The Issue with Audit Exceptions

Reading Time: 3 minutes The issue with audit exceptions is that many audit functions include exceptions as the primary theme of audit report reportable items. Okay, there I said it. Now to provide an example.

I was recently reading an internal audit report from a governmental agency in which the auditors reviewed the bank reconciliation process. The report read as follows:

During a

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