Overcoming the 5 Classic Myths About Internal Auditing

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

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Building Credibility with Audit Clients

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

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5 Practical Ways to Use Evernote During Audits

Evernote is a service “in the cloud” that helps you “remember everything, communicate effectively and get things done (www.evernote.com).” Evernote provides tools that allow you to store notes, documents, photos, web pages, voice recordings, tweets and almost anything that you can imagine. You can transfer these items from any computer and most smartphones. Additionally, you can access these same documents from any computer and most smartphones. What follows are 5 practical ways for auditors

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The Issue with Audit Exceptions

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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External Auditors to “Assess” Internal Audit Functions?!?

The International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB) recently released International Standard on Auditing (ISA) 610, Using the Work of Internal Auditors, which addresses the external auditor’s responsibilities when using the work of an internal audit function. It requires external auditors to “evaluate” the internal audit function. Specifically it states

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Protect your office from Goldilocks

Criminals and villains are oftentimes portrayed as menacing, ugly figures. Take for example, the Big Bad Wolfe or Goliath. These figures are easy to recognize and the mere thought of them brings fear to many children. In business, we tend to focus on the easily recognized risks while ignoring meek and unassuming items that slowly eat away at the heart of business.

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When Exit Meetings Go Awry

Are your exit meetings oftentimes explosive events in which you and your client are in consistent disagreement about the issues? Or, do you find that sometimes your clients are surprised by the nature and extent of the issues. Exit meeting preparation and communication begins well before the formal exit meeting. As a matter of fact, it begins prior

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Internal Auditor Magazine – There’s an app for that!

The IA magazine, published by the IIA, is probably one of the best audit resources on the market. The content is usually relevant and with over 70,000 members across the globe, the distribution is covers a diverse group of professionals. It is one of the valuable membership benefits. It has been available in print format for many years. Additionally, the IIA distributes content via the internet. Recently, the IIA released an app for the IA magazine. This article is a review

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5 Qualities of a Strong Board

The role of the Board in organizations is one of oversight. Boards are charged with representing various stakeholder groups to ensure the organization fulfill their mission, vision, goals and objectives. A strong Board provides unparalleled guidance. A weak Board can lead (or oversee) an organization down a path to destruction. Given the significance of the role, there is much discussion about what a successful Board should look like.

As internal auditors, we support the Board by identifying, evaluating and reporting on the

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4 Factors to Building a World Class Audit Function

Dictionary.com defines “world class” as ranking among the world’s best. So what does that really mean for an internal audit department? The scope and nature of an auditor’s job varies by organization, size and region. As a result, “world class” is difficult to clearly define. However, there are a few characteristics that can enhance the value an audit function delivers to an organization. I believe these characteristics surround the Personnel, Practices, Perception and Partnerships

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That Audit Guy is an “Influencer”?

I was pretty excited to learn that I was a “Top Influencer” on a few Linkedin.com groups for the week of May 7, 2012 (see screen prints below). I really enjoy the content posted on the Chief Audit Executives group and receive valuable information from many of the active participants. I’m just happy the I can contribute something that someone finds useful.

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Big 4 Experience – Does it Guarantee A Good Employee

Lately many internal audit job postings either prefer or require Big 4 experience. The Big 4 are the four largest firms specializing in accounting or other professional services. They are PwC, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu (Deloitte), Ernst & Young (EY), and KPMG. They are considered elite when it comes to industry exposure and training. Many new graduates can expect good salaries, long hours, lots of travel and lifelong contacts. Many will function as “external auditors” or financial statement auditors. The work consists of providing some assurance that the financial statements are fairly presented. Most will become familiar with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAA) and will definitely know how to interpret “the numbers” of an organization.

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A hard hat and a clipboard will get you everywhere!

It is a well known fact that carrying a clip board can get you into almost any business.  Depending on the circumstances, a clip board and a hard hat can get you into place that you may otherwise not be able to access.  Many con men have used this technique.  That is why, a recent news story about an attempted robbery of a Dunkin Donuts should be of no surprise to anyone.

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