November 2014

November 24, 2014

Internal Audit: Working Smarter, Not Harder

The saying that “perfect is the enemy of the good” seems to apply especially to internal auditing. Some of the most common mistakes by new internal auditors are made simply because we want our work to be, well, perfect. That’s an admirable goal, but perfection can take time — and time is the enemy of audit efficiency.

One of the hardest lessons I learned as a young auditor was to resist the temptation to over-audit. We all want to produce the best, so when we develop an audit program, it’s only natural to try squeezing just one more thing into the schedule.…

November 17, 2014

Internal Auditing in Asia: Progress Through Sharing

This edition of my blog is being written as I visit Tokyo, where I will be addressing more than 100 internal audit professionals as part of a series of IIA events throughout Asia. Wha​t I am witnessing at each stop in my journey is true enthusiasm for our profession throughout Asia, with lively debate and sharing of ideas that are crucial to the advancement of internal audit knowledge. But there also is new excitement about our profession here that is evident not just in the number of people attending seminars and conferences, but also in the faces and attitudes of the internal auditors I meet.…

November 10, 2014

We Can Audit Anything – but Not Everything

There are times when internal audit clients and others have unrealistic expectations about our profession. It’s not surprising then that there may be confusion about our role — after all, internal auditors wear many hats. We are analysts, controls experts, consultants, teachers, business partners, watchdogs, financial advisers, compliance experts, and more. We truly can audit almost anything. While some risks clearly require additional expertise to audit, as I said in an earlier blog “you don’t have to be a clown to audit the circus.” However, it’s important to remember that, while we might be able to audit anything, we can’t audit everything.…

November 3, 2014

Overcoming Adversity Is a Test of Character

As internal auditors, we all face adversity over the course of our professional journey. At times, the challenges can be as simple as the frustration of dealing with a client who doesn’t see things the way we do. At other times, our careers and lives may be radically altered by uncontrollable events, such as a layoff, recession, serious health issue, or family crisis.

I will be the first to admit that I have been very fortunate to not have faced many instances of profound adversity. Like almost everyone, I have had moments of professional and personal disappointment, but nothing compared with what some of my colleagues have endured.…