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
I remember working for one audit function that established a testing/sampling population of 25 for everything. If the actual population was 25,000 records, we tested 25. If the population was 1,000,000 records, we tested 25. Although fairly young in my career when I experienced this, my instinct told me this was wrong. After inquiring, I was told
I recently interviewed for an Audit Committee position. As a walked into the room, one of the interviewers said that based on my resume, he expected someone older. He did not say this with malicious intent and I was not offended. It did, however, remind me of
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
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
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
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
A recent Businessweek article discussed the craziest things employees tried to expense in 2012. Some of the strange items included live baby octopuses, deer urine and a trip for a job interview. These items are so outrageous, it is pretty easy to see why
What is the difference between internal auditing and external auditing? This is a frequently asked question. Although the word “audit” in both are similar, there are distinct differences between the two job functions. Before directly answering the question, let’s take a look at which each is and/or does.
Both are what you would call
Late 2012, a Best Buy customer ordered an iPad online. Imagine her surprised when she received not one but five iPads. The honest customer attempted to contact Best Buy to determine the best course of action. She was unable to receive help from the retailer. She enlisted the help of
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Have you ever read an audit report that contained issues that seemed to ramble on forever with no clear thought process or unnecessary language that expands a simple item into a small booklet? Why do some auditors do this?
The distribution list for audit reports
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
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