August 2017

August 28, 2017

Five Things the Audit Committee Is Still Reluctant to Say to Internal Audit

Relationships between audit committees and chief audit executives (CAEs) have become increasingly more complex as the risks facing organizations have become more diverse and dynamic. Indeed, surveys of audit committees suggest they are turning to internal audit more often for an expanding scope of assurance and advisory services.

But the relationship between the audit committee and the CAE is often complicated by personal dynamics and the awkwardness that comes with “constructive feedback.” As a result, I often find that audit committees are uncomfortable pointing out to the CAE what internal audit could do better. Instead, they leave it to management to deliver the news, and the translation isn’t always pure.…

August 21, 2017

The Risks of Living in Turbulent Times

News of violent acts snuffing out the lives of innocent bystanders assaults our senses seemingly on a daily basis. Heart-wrenching events, such as last week’s deadly terrorist attack in Spain, leave many of us weary, and worse, pessimistic about the future.

A few months ago, terrorism hit especially close to home for the IIA family when one of our affiliate leaders lost a childhood friend in a deadly bombing attack in Kabul, Afghanistan. Sadly, I’m sure this was not a unique situation, given The IIA’s reach in more than 170 countries and territories.   

Over the years, I’ve written a great deal about risk as it applies to the profession of internal auditing.…

August 14, 2017

Courageous Internal Auditors Sail Toward the Storm

Trouble is something most people avoid. With rare exception, the desire for safety and security is deep seated. The same holds true in business where often there is an instinct in the corporate sector to avoid examination of controversial topics such as executive compensation, legal compliance, culture, and others that could well bring the wrath of those who feel targeted.

But in my experience, this tendency to look the other way more often than not compounds unexamined problems that may exist. After all, ignoring the source of smoke may well lead to an uncontrollable fire.

Sadly, some internal auditors fear that auditing high-risk areas will not resonate well with executive management.…

August 7, 2017

Undermining Internal Audit With Low CAE Pay Is No Accident

(First published on Nov. ​​16, 2015)​

This summer, I have been taking the opportunity to share blogs from my archives that generated a lot of interest at the time they were published. This week, I reexamine how the internal audit function can be manipulated when its resources are compromised. 

In a recent conversation, a seasoned chief audit executive (CAE) recruiter shared his frustration that a number of high-profile companies are offering below-market salaries for their CAE positions. I responded to him that I wasn’t surprised. In fact, I shared my long-held view that some companies don’t want a strong CAE, so they price the role accordingly.…