April 2015

April 28, 2015

Internal Audit Quality: Coping With Snails and Rabbits

Occasionally, it helps to take a light-hearted look at a serious topic. I have been speaking and writing about the imperative of internal audit timeliness for more than two decades. I even dedicated three chapters of my book, Lessons Learned on the Audit Trail, to this enduring challenge. As I often note, even the most carefully planned and meticulously conducted audit will serve no value if the results are delivered too late to make a difference. At the same time, I have been cautioning about audit processes that result in untimely audit results, I have also cautioned about the dangers of auditing too quickly.…

April 20, 2015

Navigating the New Internal Audit Talent Shortage: Strategies for Success

Over the years, I have noted that the demand for internal audit talent can be cyclical. I’ve concluded that the need for qualified practitioners is influenced by a handful of factors that ebb and flow.

For the first time in more than a decade, there is mounting evidence of an emerging internal audit talent shortage driven by factors including an improving economy, heightened regulatory oversight, competition for talent from other industries and — most notably — growing risks associated with cybersecurity.

Any number of studies, including The IIA’s 2015 North American Pulse of Internal Audit, point to a dearth of skilled internal auditors and the commensurate rise in competition to hire the best candidates.…

April 20, 2015

Internal Audit: Providing Assurance not Insurance

Regular readers of this blog know my assertions about the value of internal audit. Our profession offers an indispensable service that is essential for businesses, governments, and non-profits to operate at the highest levels.

Further, as the challenges of the global marketplace demand higher efficiencies, insight, and vision to stay ahead of the competition, a good internal audit function can be uniquely positioned to offer a holistic and critical view of operations.

These growing demands create the need for increasingly complex and sophisticated strategies for improving efficiencies, defending against fraud and corruption, and managing risk. But one of the bedrock services of internal audit remains providing assurance.…

April 13, 2015

China: The New Frontier for Internal Auditing

As I write this week’s blog, I find myself once again in perhaps one of the most dynamic places in the world for the internal audit profession – China.

This week, representatives from more than 80 countries and territories are in Beijing for The Institute of Internal Auditors’ annual Global Council to share their perspectives on the future of the profession. I think it is particularly appropriate that we are gathered where the frontier of our profession offers some of the brightest prospects for the future.

This ancient and beautiful country has great influence, from global economics and geopolitics to space exploration and cybersecurity.…

April 6, 2015

Inspectors General: The Four Pillars of Their Credibility

Once again, a U.S. Inspector General (IG) has come under scrutiny, this time for behavior being described as a pattern of misconduct, including allegations of retaliation against whistleblowers and questionable hiring practices.

During my tenure as IG for the Tennessee Valley Authority, I understood the importance of fostering an organization that carried out its work free of interference and one that demanded the highest principles. So these kinds of allegations are particularly troubling to me. 

It is much too early to determine the validity of the allegations being made against the IG at the Department of Commerce, and it would be unfair for me or others to comment on them directly until a final investigation and due process has run its course.…