March 2014

March 30, 2014

American Center for Government Auditing: A Platform for Guardians of Public Trust

Government auditors often don’t get the respect they deserve. Not only do they contend with notoriously tight budgets and limited staff, but they also work in a politically charged environment where policies and procedures often are anchored in the shifting sands of political will, rather than in best practices. Doing the right thing can be especially difficult when it runs counter to a popularly held opinion. ​​As I have noted before​​, we all have an interest in their success, because they are “the guardians of public trust.”​​

In the private sector, the free market fosters a robust support system of conferences and consultancies for internal auditors.…

March 23, 2014

10 Vital Lessons From the Audit Trail

Over the years, I have sought to use this blog to offer critical imperatives that I believe internal auditors needed to address. Sometimes, these were strategic. Sometimes, they were tactical. Many of the blog posts were drawn from my experiences as an internal auditor and chief audit executive. I recently took the next step and assimilated the lessons I’ve learned throughout my career into a book. Lessons Learned on the Audit Trail is being released this week by The IIA Research Foundation.

While I draw on my personal and professional experiences for the book, it is the “lessons learned” that I believe will be of most value to the reader.…

March 17, 2014

The Amazing Growth of Internal Auditing in the Middle East

I am posting my blog this week from Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates, where I am addressing IIA–UAE’s 15th Annual Regional Internal Audit Conference.

In the 73 years since The Institute of Internal Auditors was founded, our profession has grown at a remarkable rate. But as with all occupations, internal auditing has had its ups and downs. The pace has never been steady and, at times, activity has been greater in some industries or geographic regions than in others.

Now and then, however, something happens that transcends our usual expectations for expansion and, in certain parts of the world, internal auditing takes a major step forward in a very short period of time.…

March 10, 2014

Five Things the Audit Committee Won’t Tell Internal Audit

Most audit executives work hard to develop open relationships with their audit committee members. The effort generally pays off. Regardless of how hard we work at fostering openness and honesty, however, some audit committee members may not be comfortable telling us everything that’s on their minds. Sometimes, they simply may not know enough about internal audit to know what we are capable of, and sometimes they are simply trying to spare our feelings. But often, it’s the things they don’t or won’t say that we most need to hear.

The audit committee might be perfectly comfortable asking us hard questions about risks and controls.…

March 3, 2014

Being the Corporate Conscience: Where Are the Boundaries?

My colleague and fellow InternalAuditorOnline blogger Norman Marks recently wrote that “Internal Auditors Should Be Brave,” meaning they should not hesitate to speak up about the things that need to be said, even if they face the prospect of retribution.

It reminded me of a Tone at the Top article in November 2009, the same year I became president and CEO of The IIA. That piece, called “What’s on Your (Corporate) Conscience?” (PDF) examined the role of internal auditors in ensuring an organization is behaving ethically.

I have blogged about the ethical responsibilities of internal auditors in the past. In April 2013, I discussed the “Seven Attributes of the Ethical Internal Audit Leader,” sharing the view that ethical internal audit leaders are “proactive.”…