October 2015

October 26, 2015

Back to the Future: Could We Have Envisioned Internal Audit in 2015?

Last week, the world celebrated “Back to the Future Day,” an event inspired by the 1989 movie Back to the Future Part II, which envisioned what life might be like in 2015. Like many, I was captivated when I first saw this box-office hit, starring Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd. Its quirky vision of a flying hover board and a flying DeLorean turned out to be a mixed bag in terms of accurately predicting life in 2015, but all of the attention to the movie’s predictions over the past week inspired me to ponder how much internal audit has changed since the 1980s.…

October 19, 2015

Leadership Lessons From an Audit Giant

Each of us have likely encountered individuals from whom we have learned much about the art of leadership. If we are fortunate, we are able to look back and identify a handful of inspiring and​remarkable individuals who were particularly important influences. In the course of my career, one such leader was Ernie Gregory, an iconic former U.S. Army civilian executive whom I wrote about in my book Lessons Learned on the Audit Trail. Ernie recently passed away, and I have been reflecting on the important lessons in leadership that I learned from him.

I first met Ernie in 1982, when I was a junior level internal auditor in one of the Army’s major command internal review (internal audit) offices.…

October 12, 2015

Fantasy Island: Lessons Learned From DraftKings and FanDuel

Another week, another example of internal control failures hurting an organization and industry.

Details of the scandal engulfing the online fantasy sports company DraftKings should be common knowledge by now. A DraftKings employee admitted to the early release of data not generally available to the public and won US$350,000 on a rival site, FanDuel, that same week. The comparisons to insider trading quickly – and logically – followed.

It didn’t take long for critics to start asking why a major player in the largely unregulated, multibillion-dollar fantasy sports industry didn’t have stronger controls in place to restrict access to protected information or ban its employees from participating in fantasy games elsewhere.…

October 5, 2015

From Trusted Adviser to Double Agent: Are Regulators Trying to Redefine Internal Audit?

Internal audit is under great pressure — pressure to meet growing stakeholder expectations, pressure to adapt to new and rapidly emerging risks, pressure to keep up with new technologies and threats.

This is not a new phenomenon with our profession. Over the decades, internal auditing has been under near-constant pressure to meet ever-changing demands. From the beginnings of modern internal auditing in the 1930s and ’40s, one of the great strengths of the profession has been its ability to evolve — growing and becoming better able to meet stakeholder needs as it conquers each new challenge.

Key to this evolution is the ability for internal audit to remain an independent and objective function that provides assurance and advice.…