January 2015

January 27, 2015

What Internal Auditors Can Learn From the Blizzard, Measles, and Underinflated Footballs

During the early years of my intern​al audit career, the Internet did not exist. In some ways, those were the “good ol’ days!” Today, social media and the Internet make information sharing nearly instantaneous. Unfortunately, bad news often travels even faster. Therein lies a huge challenge for organizations and the internal auditors who serve them.

It would seem counter-intuitive to think that organizations would struggle with communications in today’s highly interconnected world. In reality, organizations large and small are under great pressure to communicate their key messages quickly, accurately, and efficiently — especially in times of crisis. The potential for reputational harm caused by poor crisis communications is often a bigger risk than the crisis itself.…

January 21, 2015

Internal Audit Credibility Springs From Objectivity

In an effort to raise awareness about objectivity, I often pose a series of questions to internal auditors. Have you ever been called upon to direct or conduct an audit in a department where a friend or relative works? Have you ever participated in an internal audit of a program, function, or business unit in which you worked at one time?

How about an audit of a finance function that aligns under the same CFO as internal audit? Have you ever audited the expense reports of the CEO?

I could go on, but the point is this: Every day, internal auditors are faced with potential conflicts of interest that could impair objectivity.…

January 12, 2015

An Internal Audit Dilemma: When Management Goes Rogue

If we learned anything from the global financial crises of 2008, it was this: When boards of directors fail in their oversight responsibility of risk management, the results can be disastrous.

Managing risks for an organization is a complex and often dynamic undertaking that requires strong coordination among the board, management, and the internal audit function. Identifying and mitigating risks through a sound risk-based internal audit process benefits all organizations, from mom-and-pop businesses to Fortune 500 corporations.

Failure to do so invites almost guaranteed problems at some level of the organization. It also can present a profound dilemma for the organization’s internal auditors who serve both management and the board.…

January 5, 2015

5 Resolutions for Every Internal Auditor’s List in 2015

This time each year, many of us reflect upon our accomplishments and identify areas for self-improvement, whether it’s to eat better, exercise more, or simply cut out some bad habits. Great ambitions, but not always great results​. The same might​ be said for New Year’s resolutions around career success. Many of us set professional goals but struggle to fulfill them.

Don’t let past regrets or fear of failure hold you back. I believe it’s important to always set our sights high, but that doesn’t mean they cannot also be realistic and achievable. So, in keeping with my tradition of using my first blog of the year to suggest some New Year’s resolutions that can raise the bar for internal auditors and the profession in general, here are five for 2015 that can be achieved by any reasonably motivated internal auditor.…