October 2013

October 30, 2013

Independence and Objectivity Are Not the Same Thing

After taking the opportunity with my last blog to focus on acquiring and retaining internal audit talent, I return in this blog with the final installment in a three-part series on the core attributes of an internal auditor. In each of these blogs, I have examined some of our attribute standards that we all proactively abide by.

While many, including The IIA, have made numerous efforts to distinguish between the terms, there remains a lot of confusion around the words “independence” and “objectivity” as it relates to a practicing internal auditor. These words are not synonymous, nor are they interchangeable.…

October 21, 2013

Six Things Every CAE Should Do to Retain the Best Internal Audit Talent

The global economy continues to improve, and there’s plenty of evidence that organizations are investing in stronger risk management and internal control infrastructure, including internal audit functions. In fact, early indications are that almost one-third of U.S. Fortune 500 companies plan to add new internal audit staff positions in 2014.

 As hard as it may be for CAEs to attract the right talent, recruitment will not be the most significant personnel challenge. It’s convincing the best and brightest internal audit stars to stay with the department when there are attractive opportunities to transition into a business unit or a service firm.…

October 15, 2013

Due Professional Care: What Is Reasonable and Competent?

In my last blog, I observed that internal auditors are expected to demonstrate a number of core attributes. I went on to explore the concept of “professional proficiency” and what that means for internal auditors.

Another attribute that often receives light treatment in internal audit manuals and textbooks is “due professional care.” It goes without saying that internal auditors should exercise due professional care in undertaking their work, but what does that really mean?

The IIA’s Standard 1220: Due Professional Care states: “Internal auditors must apply the care and skill expected of a reasonably prudent and competent internal auditor.”

So what is reasonable and competent?…

October 10, 2013

Professional Proficiency: What Does That Really Mean for Internal Auditors?

As professionals, internal auditors are expected to possess a number of core attributes. An overarching attribute that is not the subject of very much discussion is “professional proficiency.” Most of us understand that professional proficiency is an expectation, but what does it really mean?

IIA Standard 1210: Professional Proficiency requires internal auditors to possess the “knowledge, skills, and other competencies required to perform their individual responsibilities.” I fear that many assume that one automatically demonstrates his or her proficiency by obtaining appropriate professional certifications and qualifications, such as the Certified Internal Auditor (CIA) or Certification in Risk Management Assurance (CRMA) offered by The IIA.…

October 2, 2013

Sometimes Failures Can Be the Keys to Success

You can tell a lot about a person’s character by the way they respond to a setback. I often comment in this blog on best practices and technical issues relating to internal audit. Today, I offer my thoughts on an issue of broader interest — perseverance. I can’t tell you how many people I’ve known over the years who have suffered a setback and never recovered. They just couldn’t get over that hurdle and get on with their professional or even personal lives.

In my career, I can recall at least three times when I dearly wanted a promotion or an assignment, and didn’t get it.…