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 Talent Management

Internal Auditing is a profession that requires diverse skill sets. For example, there are auditors who specialize in construction, medical billing, pharmaceuticals, and information technology. Additionally, jobs for auditors seem to be fairly plentiful. As a result, hiring, developing, and retaining talented audit professionals can be a challenge. When faced with hiring dilemmas, auditors tend to place the blame on many external factors such as no funding/support or lack of local qualified talent. This may very well be true, however, the real talent problem may be more close to home and directly related to how we search for talent.

Take, for example, most internal

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Auditors Must Understand the Reward Side of Risk

I recently wrote an article discussing the up and downside of risks (Risky Business As Usual). I strongly believe auditors must be aware of both. This view sparked a lot of discussions on LinkedIn and emails in my inbox. I stand by the position that risk management involves managing threats and opportunities. Recently, I CFO.com article introduced the concept of Value Map in which the traditional

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Audit Projects without Opinions are Pointless

I am Still amazed by the number of audit functions that produce audit Reports without providing opinions about the control environment. After all, Internal Auditing is an objective assurance function. There is no way one can provide assurance without a formal Concluding opinion.

December 2012. I had the privilege of authoring an article for the IIA magazine titled “‘Your Opinion Matters”. It is presented below in its entirety with permission from the I IA.

The power of opinions has forever changed the way we purch

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Taming audit client tantrums

Most audit clients understand that the purpose of an audit is to perform an independent evaluation of functions to determine if operations are effective and efficient. It is a strenuous process on clients. In many instances, it may not be enjoyable, however, most clients tend to respect the process. Occasionally, there are clients who exhibit behavior that is less than mutually respectful. I have said it before, being audited is just as stressful as auditing. I have personally seen clients scream, curse and toss items. While some clients are simply wired to be difficult (see related article on audit client types), I truly believe that a majority of clients are mature enough to

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An Amazonian Lesson on Third Party Provider Management Risks (part 1 of 2)

We have all heard the terms outsource and co-source. In its basic form, the words mean that organizations have entrusted parts of their operational processes to others. Sometimes this is done to save money while in other instances it allows organizations to tap into a resource of experts that they may not otherwise have exposure to. Either way, in this marriage of sorts, it is important to understand

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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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IIA General Audit Management Conference APP…Yes there is an app for that too!

The Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) has made great strides to propel the auditing profession into digital and social media. There are digital editions of the Internal Auditor magazine. Additionally, there is a magazine app (see review here title blah). The organization periodically offers free members only webinars. The CEO, Richard Chambers is very active on twitter and there is a Facebook presence. Most recently, the organization notified its members of an app for the General Audit Management Conference. The conference is in its 34th year and is billed as “The Essential Experience for CAE’s”. I will be attending and presenting at this conference. Therefore, I am very excited about the app. I’m excited about anything that can make my life easier. I have used other conference software apps and

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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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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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Risky Business as Usual

Risk! Auditors are constantly addressing this four letter word. There are unrelenting attempt to better identify, assess and report risks. However, many auditors tend to allocate audit efforts and resources to and concentrate on negative risk impacts. In the planning phase, risks assessments center around negative outcomes. Audit testing is designed to determine

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What is the Best Interview/Note Taking Style for Internal Auditors? (Part 2 of 2)

In a recent article, I asked “What is the Best Interview/Note Taking Style for Internal Auditors?” This was part one of a two part series where I introduced 3 interview and 2 note taking techniques. Many of you responded to the polling questions asking about your favorite technique. Several of you posted responses in LinkedIn groups. Further, many of you sent nice emails (I like and respond to emails). Newsletter subscribers received two additional tips in the December issue. If you missed part one, read it here (What is the Best Interview/Note Taking Style for Internal Auditors?)

In this article, I would like to introduce/review a tool that can increase note taking efficiency. The typical

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