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What is your auditor personality type?

Auditors frequently encounter various types of clients with personalities ranging from shy to overzealous.  The personalities and behaviors are oftentimes topics of discussion.  However, in this article, I would like to discuss auditor personality types.  I believe that there are at least 4 “Audit Personalities”.

 Arrogant Auditor

This is the auditor that “knows everything”.  This individual asks few questions when meeting with clients.  The Arrogant Auditor believes that s/he has a good relationship with clients, when in actuality clients hate to see him coming.

Apprehensive Auditor

The Apprehensive Auditor is very smart, however, this individual has yet to develop the confidence needed to effectively communicate with clients.

Push Over Auditor

This auditor is very friendly, loved most clients, but respected by few.  This auditor oftentimes has an outgoing personality, but is ineffective in obtaining information and documentation from clients.

Effective Auditor

The Effective Auditor is one who manages relationships with clients in a respectful and efficient manner.  Clients may or may not like this individual, however, s/he is respected for not only his knowledge but his soft skills.

Which type are you?

Can you be more than one?

Can you think of any more auditor personality types?

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What is your auditor personality type? (select up to 3)

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Robert Berry (88)

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.

6 thoughts on “What is your auditor personality type?

  1. Let us add the “Political Auditor”: although incompetent, he/she just tries to be well considered by the hierarchy, and will often adopt the “storm-in-teacup” strategy: find a small mistake, blow it out of proportion. His/her impact is devastating: audit team gets upset that all their efforts are overlooked for one small mistake, then quickly learn where to focus their efforts (follow the rules, do not take initiative), and many resources are spent on mindless compliance. As for the audit, much time and effort is spent on investigating that small mistake, and arguing about it, instead of looking at other key areas.

  2. Ahhh…The Political Auditor. You make a very good point. This is probably one of the most dangerous audit types. They oftentimes miss the whole “Independence” aspect of our profession trying to climb the corporate ladder. Good one. Thank you for your input.

    1. Another Auditor type I have observed is the “Must Find Something” Auditor who will look under every rock and spend whatever time it takes to find the missing paper clip. This Auditor finds it very difficult to have any job satisfaction unless an issue is found. The concept of providing assurance around key controls, risk management, or governance processess is not enough. Although comforting to know this auditor will generally not miss anything, the respect for the internal audit team/profession is damaged due to the lack of relevance in adding value towards the organization meeting its objectives.

  3. Good one Kip. The ever dangerous “I’m out to get you” guy. Objectivity and independence are the words of the day.

  4. I think you’ve hit the nail on the head with these audit personalities. I often ask our auditor clients to look at whether they are accommodating, aggressive or assertive in their behavior. You have taken the concept to the next level. The Effective Auditor would be assertive, fair and respectful. Nice one!

    1. I agree (regarding the effective auditor). I think that is what we all strive for but we do have some ineffective moments.

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