July 2012

July 24, 2012

”We Are Here to Help You”: Managing Relationships With Skeptical Clients

​“We are here to help you!” This phrase seems so innocent, but at The IIA’s recent International Conference in Boston, I once again heard those six little words referred to as “the biggest lie of the internal audit profession.” As the old joke continues, the second biggest lie is management’s response: “We are glad you are here!”

The great majority of internal audit professionals are truly collegial in their relationships with clients, and hopefully most of our clients really are glad to see us. But maybe it’s time to take a hard look at how we are viewed and how we can change mistaken perceptions about internal auditors in the minds of skeptical clients.…

July 17, 2012

Internal Audit as a Pipeline of Talent

The concept of rotational internal audit staffing is not new. General Electric’s internal audit function, for example, has employed a purely rotational model and served as a “talent pipeline” for the company for decades. But in the past 10 years, an increasing number of companies have restructured their internal audit departments to include rotational positions and strategically support their companies’ talent needs. According to recent surveys, almost one-third of all internal audit groups now use rotational staffing models. 

At first, the issue may seem simple: Should internal audit be staffed with career professional internal auditors, or should it deploy a rotational model and become a “talent pipeline”?…

July 2, 2012

Credibility: The Secret Weapon of Internal Audit Effectiveness

As a young auditor, nothing was more frustrating to me than presenting a great audit recommendation or new idea to an audit client (or “auditee” as we called them back then), only to be met with waves of skepticism and negativity. I knew my message was important, but at times it was challenging to overcome the mistrust and fear seemingly engendered by the mere fact that the recommendation came from an auditor.

Looking back on those early audits, I now realize that some of those communications breakdowns could have been avoided. The realization came slowly to me: I didn’t completely understand why I sometimes had difficulty in “selling” recommendations until a particularly frustrating exit meeting.…