What do Internal Auditors & Doctors have in common?

And which would you rather visit?

Listening to brain activity? Daniele Oberti via Compfight

When we reach certain ages and stages in life, it is customary to have specific medical checkups to provide reasonable assurance that we are in good health.  Occasionally, there are issues that require follow up in the form of preventive maintenance or corrective action.  For example, if your cholesterol numbers are creeping up, she may suggest foods that can naturally stabilize it.  Or if the numbers are a little too high, she may suggest medication.  In even rarer instances, and definitely the worst case scenario, a trip to the doctor may result in him informing you that life as you know it may be coming to end.  No matter how much we dread occasional checkups, we know that

(1) They are for the betterment of our health

(2) Fear of the unknown does not make problems go away

(3) If all is well, it is great to have confirmation that ALL IS WELL

Internal Audits are similar in this manner.  Internal Audits are designed to test business processes to provide stakeholders with reasonable assurance that risks identified and adequately mitigated to reduce the risk of loss.  Performed correctly, Internal Audits can provide stakeholders with one or a combination of the following:

(1)    Reasonable assurance that processes are functioning appropriately

(2)    A list of items that require some preventive maintenance to strengthen the environment

(3)    Items that may require a drastic overhaul because something has gone awry

Whether it is a checkup from the doctor or a visit from your audit staff, third party evaluations of your “health” is always a good thing.  So the next time your clients inquiry about why they are being audited, tell them your giving them their annual checkup.

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Which would you rather have...internal audit or doctor checkup?

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Robert Berry (107)

Robert (That Audit Guy) Berry is a risk, compliance and auditing advocate, educator and innovator. He helps good professionals become better by creating articles, web services and training that allow them to expand their knowledge network.

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