The Audit Love Triangle

Reading Time: 2 minutes 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

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2 Reasons Your Audit Report Fell Flat

Reading Time: 4 minutes   The audit report is a critical part of the audit process. It, at a minimum, formally communicates to stakeholders the state of a control environment. The reporting phase is oftentimes troublesome. Many auditors spend hours arguing with clients about report content and distribution. Three major complaints i hear from auditors are that the client[…]More

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What to do when audit clients cross the line

Reading Time: 2 minutes Every person (regardless of age, gender, ethnic background, appearance, intelligence level, whatever) deserves a basic level of respect.  It is unfortunate that many work environments do not understand this and operate under an unofficial “class system”.  Within this system, some individuals can say what they want, when they want and to whom they want without[…]More

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Why did you choose internal auditing as a career?

Reading Time: 2 minutes 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

Reading Time: 2 minutes 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!

Reading Time: 3 minutes 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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The Best Audit is Sometimes the Audit You Never Start

Reading Time: 3 minutes 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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5 Things Great Internal Auditors Do!

Reading Time: 4 minutes 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 Auditors You Should Fire Now

Reading Time: 2 minutes 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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Three Killer Questions for Internal Audit Clients

Reading Time: 3 minutes 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…

Reading Time: 2 minutes 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?

Reading Time: 2 minutes 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

Reading Time: 2 minutes 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

Reading Time: 3 minutes 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

Reading Time: 3 minutes 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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