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
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.
It is essential for business professionals to obtain and maintain sufficient knowledge to perform their job. Many have obtained certifications that demonstrate proficiency in specific areas. To ensure practitioners’ skillsets remain current, many of these certifications require the completion of some sort of continuing education.
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.
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.
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:
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
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.
The International Internal Audit Standards Board (IIASB) of the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) is proposing changes to the International Standards for the Professional Practice of Internal Auditing, also known as the Standards. For the most part, I believe that the Standards are headed in the right direction for the profession.