October 2017

October 30, 2017

5 Things That Should Spook Internal Auditors About the Future

Halloween is celebrated this week across large parts of Europe and North America, bringing a quirky combination of costumed revelers and things that go bump in the night. While it’s safe to say most internal auditors won’t be scared by the ghosts and ghoulies who appear at their doorsteps, there are some aspects of the future that should make them tremble.

Technology has accelerated the pace of change to breakneck speed. We are in an era when a backlash to too much change in too short a period of time is affecting diverse areas of our lives, from our politics to how we communicate to the security of our jobs.…

October 23, 2017

When Auditing Compliance, Look to Health Care

With few exceptions, organizations in every sector and industry face compliance risks, and those risks grow every year. This is reflected in statistics that show compliance audits account for an increasing percentage of internal audit plans.

In health care, compliance with laws and regulations is critical. ​Not only do compliance breaches subject health-care providers to potential fines and penalties, they are often literally a matter of life or death. I think everyone could learn something from the way cultures of compliance are built within that highly regulated industry.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) oversees hundreds, if not thousands, of regulations and rules designed to make the provision of health care safe and efficient.…

October 16, 2017

Seven Signs You Might Be a Jurassic Auditor

Every profession evolves as the body of knowledge expands and new tools and technology become available. The best and brightest professionals embrace evolution and leverage new strategies and tactics to enhance their effectiveness. The same is (or should be) true of internal audit professionals.

Several years ago, I adopted a term to describe internal auditors who were not very progressive, who tended to cling to outdated practices. I called them “Jurassic Auditors.” The term Jurassic derives from the geologic period that spanned more than 50 million years and ended about 145 million years ago. The vast majority of species from that period are long extinct, because they were unable to adapt.…

October 9, 2017

Ratings in Audit Reports: Lights or Lightning Rods?

The practice of including ratings in internal audit reports to highlight or summarize results is not something new. I began exploring and lecturing on the pros and cons of ratings more than 10 years ago. But the subject came up recently at a CAE roundtable, reminding me how popular — yet controversial — the practice continues to be.

Almost 40 percent of those in the room use ratings in some form, and the last time I formally surveyed on the practice, more than two-thirds of respondents said they were including ratings in their audit reports.

Ratings are often assigned based on the overall results of the audit, and they can take on adjectival forms, such as “satisfactory,” “needs improvement,” or “unsatisfactory.”…

October 2, 2017

The Vatican’s Noble Internal Audit Experiment Ends in Finger Pointing

The world recently learned the Vatican’s former auditor general believes he was forced out of the post by an “old guard” at the Holy See. Libero Milone stepped down in June less than halfway through a five-year mandate to introduce more transparency into the finances of the Roman Catholic Church.

Just four months before his resignation, Milone spoke at The IIA’s 2017 Global Council in Rome, offering an intriguing glimpse into Pope Francis’ commitment to economic reforms. In his presentation, Milone described what would appear to be idyllic conditions to carry out his work as the Vatican’s first auditor general. He described the office as having full autonomy and independence in keeping with the “best international practices” for public administration.…