June 2011

June 25, 2011

Drawing the Line: From Professional Skepticism to Suspicion

I enjoy working with new auditors, in part because they so often see the world in terms of clear black-and-white issues. “Should we do an audit?” “Should we issue a finding?” “Am I maintaining a healthy degree of professional skepticism?” For many new auditors, each yes-or-no question points unerringly to a single correct answer. 

With experience, our horizons expand and we start to see additional repercussions for our actions. The issue is not merely whether we should perform an audit, but whether budget is available, how extensive an audit is justified, and how soon the audit is needed. The issue is not merely whether or not to report a finding, but how significant the finding is and how strongly to word the description. …

June 6, 2011

As Governments Teeter Financially – Government Auditors Can Help

The global financial crisis has played out over the past two years like a “slow motion” train wreck. Following the spectacular implosions of iconic financial services organizations in 2008, dominoes have continued to fall in predictable order. As the world slid deeper into financial crisis, the plight of the world’s governments was frightening. Tax and other revenues plummeted while the demands for social and related services rose. The results have been spiraling deficits and crushing levels of debt.

As elected officials and managers of government agencies around the world struggle to identify solutions, they should not overlook one valuable resource that almost all of them have at their disposal — the legions of professional government auditors.…