June 2016

June 27, 2016

Fraud Risk Hasn’t Reemerged – It Never Went Away

The father of modern internal auditing, Larry Sawyer, once observed:

“Employee and management fraud is a poisonous weed that flourishes in a permissive climate where the seeds of fraud are helped and even invited to grow and mature.”

While Sawyer might have been a bit melodramatic in describing the risks related to fraud, there is no question that fraud risks have been around much longer than the internal audit profession itself. And, while the emphasis on fraud ebbs and flows, the risk of fraud itself never goes away.

There are many factors that influence the priorities of 21st century internal auditors.…

June 20, 2016

Does Scandal Raise Awareness About Internal Audit’s Value?

Two investor groups issued recommendations last week urging rejection of the upcoming vote of confidence in VW’s management board. The messages from investor advisory groups PIRC and Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) are stunning in their frank and damning assessment of the troubled automaker’s governance practices.

The recommendations, while significant in their implications for investors and VW management, also carry an important message that should not be overlooked about the value of internal audit.

At the heart of the PIRC and ISS recommendations is that they believe VW has not done enough to fix a variety of corporate governance weaknesses, according to published reports.…

June 14, 2016

Forensic Examination May Explain Why You Aren’t a Trusted Advisor

I know from experience how frustrating it can be as a chief audit executive (CAE) or member of the internal audit staff when management does not value the contributions you can make to enhanced risk management, internal controls, or governance in the organization. The signs are often evident:

  • Few if any audit requests come your way throughout the year.
  • Minimal input is received during internal audit’s annual risk assessment process.
  • You are not invited to meetings where business strategy is discussed or formulated.
  • Recipients of our reports are indifferent or resistant to conclusions or recommendations.
  • When a significant risk is identified, management doesn’t call you – they seek a consultant.
June 6, 2016

Awareness About Internal Audit Should Also Focus on the Future

Each year internal auditors around the world make a concerted effort to raise awareness of our profession during May. Internal Audit Awareness Month has become a celebration of the great value internal auditors bring to their organizations, from providing assurance on compliance and governance issues to advising on emerging risks and business strategies.

Indeed, for 2016, participation in Internal Audit Awareness Month was as extensive as ever. From Malawi to Mexico, through conferences and social media posts, discussions long and short expounded on the pride practitioners have in our esteemed profession.

But this outpouring of pride and awareness should not focus only on what internal audit does for organizations today.…