December 2014

December 18, 2014

Five 2014 Headlines That Had High Implications for Internal Auditing

As 2014 draws to a close, I am reflecting on the events that will have a lasting effect on our profession. Each year, various news reports hold clues about emerging risks and future trends in internal auditing. This year, five headlines in particular stand out because they mark events that could change our path forward for the foreseeable future.

So, here is my list of the five headlines from 2014 that are most likely to shape the future of internal auditing. Each of these stories holds important lessons for us all.

1. Revenue Recognition Poised to be the “Next Big Thing” for Internal Auditors

As I pointed out in a recent blog post, changes to rules regarding revenue recognition — “Revenue from Contracts with Customers” — will soon replace more than 200 pronouncements from both the U.S.…

December 12, 2014

Five Personal Investments for Career Success

In my nearly 40 years in internal audit, I have worked for diverse organizations with immensely talented individuals from all corners of the globe. The experiences gained during those years taught me many valuable lessons about the profession and those we serve. Fortunately, I discovered early on how vital it is to make investments in my own career future. Warren Buffett said it best: “Investing in yourself is the best thing you can do.”

In my professional journey, I found that investing in personal growth can be grouped into five areas, and I encourage all internal auditors to consider these strategic investments in their own career.…

December 8, 2014

When Internal Auditors Dissent: The Value of Pushing Back

A​s internal auditors, we know it’s essential to win consensus. We work hard to create a shared understanding of risks, and to gain buy-in for our recommendations. But blindly striving for consensus is not always healthy for our organizations. When important business decisions need to be made, it is important to express our opinions, and to encourage and listen to contrarian voices, rather than to risk the impact of “groupthink.”

Groupthink often results from an uncompromising desire for harmony or conformity. It’s more common than you may realize, and it’s especially prevalent in groups with dynamic leadership. The energy and passion that drive an organization to success can subtly shift conversations.…

December 1, 2014

Internal Auditors as Agents of Change

Many new internal auditors believe that, when a report is issued, their job is done. In reality, being an effective internal auditor ultimately hinges on one’s ability to be an agent of change. Intern​al audit effectiveness depends not only on having the right advice, it also depends on whether management takes actions on issues that we identify. It’s true that implementing internal audit recommendations is management’s responsibility, not ours. But, unless we convey a compelling case and help to create a sense of urgency about making needed changes, our work often will be in vain.

Creating a sense of urgency to implement change can be surprisingly difficult.…