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

Posted on 7 Comments

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

Posted on 11 Comments

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.

Posted on 13 Comments

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

Posted on 2 Comments

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

Posted on 1 Comment

The Follow-up Audit Fallacy

You’ve just completed a very complex audit. There were a multiple issues to report. Some issues have easy fixes and others would require a significant amount of time and attention. Management’s action plans are very detailed. They contain concise responses, assign responsible parties for fixing the issues and include due dates. So when audit and[…]More

Posted on Leave a comment

The Audit Love Triangle

There is a joke about the love/hate relationship between auditors and clients.  Auditor: We’re coming to audit you soon. Will you guys be available?  Client: Sure, you know we love you guys!  Auditor: REALLY  Client: Well we hate to see you coming and love to see you going. A client said this to me jokingly[…]More

Posted on 2 Comments