January 2017

January 30, 2017

What 8 Years of Writing Blogs Has Taught Me About Internal Auditing

I have covered many topics relating to the day-to-day workings of internal auditing over the eight years that I have been writing this blog. The dynamic nature of business and the profession’s evolving role within the organization have made it relatively easy to keep the issues topical and fresh.

February 10th marks the eighth anniversary of Chambers on the Profession. When I wrote that first blog, I had only been on the job as The IIA’s CEO for about four weeks. American and global economic uncertainty hung in the air like a stale fog. A sense of crisis and pessimism permeated the world in ways not seen since the onset of the Great Depression almost 70 years earlier.…

January 23, 2017

Comply or Explain (To The Judge)

The U.S. Department of Justice announced this month indictments against executives at Volkswagen, air-bag manufacturer Takata, and three global banks involved in foreign currency trading. This bold action, which reinforced earlier warnings from U.S. regulators that executives and board members will be held personally accountable for wrongdoing, likely sent shudders across corporate C-suites around the world.

Just last week, Samsung’s top executive was kept in a holding cell while a court deliberated whether to issue a warrant for his arrest. Ultimately no arrest warrant was issued for Lee Jae-yong, but he remains the subject of a special prosecutor’s investigation relating to a scandal that led to the impeachment of South Korean President Park Geun-hye.…

January 16, 2017

Leadership at the Speed of Risk

Much has been said and written about leadership and risk. From military and world leaders to business entrepreneurs, a common theme is that taking no risks leads to earning no rewards. As Facebook’s co-founder Mark Zuckerberg has observed, “The biggest risk is not taking any risk. … In a world that is changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks.”

In the 21st Century, the risk/reward dynamic takes on the added component of the harrowing speed at which risks can emerge, change, and impact. I have written often of the need for internal auditors to audit at the speed of risk, which is no easy task.…

January 9, 2017

When Our Customers Speak — We Had Better Listen!

Many of us are old enough to remember the iconic commercials run by the renowned investment advisors, E.F. Hutton. The premise of the advertisements was that, “When E.F. Hutton talks, people listen.” The phrase is easily applicable to the marketplace. When one’s customers talk, those who serve them had better listen. This includes internal auditors.

In my first blog post of the 2017, I shared five resolutions that will help internal auditors prepare for the future. I believe the top resolution on the list — be responsive to stakeholders (customers) — is of utmost importance and deserves more in-depth discussion.

Understanding the needs and desires of management and the board of directors should be the highest priority not just for chief audit executives but for every member of the internal audit staff.…

January 3, 2017

5 Resolutions for Internal Auditors in 2017 to Prepare for the Future

As has become my custom, I like to begin each New Year with a blog post laying out resolutions internal auditors should consider for the coming year. In past years, I have focused on specifics regarding anticipated regulatory changes, market and economic challenges, and occasionally I’ve weighed in on how the political landscape might influence what we do. In 2017, I believe we all need to take steps to prepare the profession for the long-term future.

Beyond the well-documented challenges of cyber threats, compliance risks, and shifting demands on talent, growing stakeholder interest in expanding internal audit’s role toward strategic advisory roles has put the profession in a potentially precarious position.…