June 2018

June 25, 2018

​​​Internal Auditors Can Audit Anything — but Not Everything

There are times when internal audit clients and others have unrealistic expectations about our profession. It’s not surprising, then, that there may be confusion about our role. After all, internal auditors wear many hats. We are analysts, controls experts, consultants, teachers, business partners, watchdogs, financial advisers, compliance experts, and more. We truly can audit almost anything. While some risks clearly require additional expertise to audit, as I wrote in a 2014 blog post, “you don’t have to be a clown to audit the circus.” However, as I noted then, while we might be able to audit anything, we c​an’t audit everyt​hing. …

June 18, 2018

Toolboxes for Building a Better Internal Auditor

The IIA is in the midst of the most extraordinary transformation project in its history. Over the next two years, service to members will be elevated through deployment of new systems for certification candidate management, e-commerce, and association management, and a crucial evolution in our website, driven by member needs. When fully deployed, the digital transformation project will make the organization more efficient and more accountable to its members. 

Throughout much of The IIA’s storied history, its motto has been “Progress Through Sharing.” The IIA’s role as the profession’s champion includes sharing with its members the tools and resources they need to deliver on stakeholder expectations of protecting and enhancing value in their organizations.…

June 11, 2018

Internal Audit’s Role in Picking up the Pieces

I have written several blog posts on high-profile risk, control, and governance failures over the past few years, from Volkswagen to Toshiba to Wells Fargo. Some posts looked at lessons learned while others explored internal audit’s role or absence in those corporate stumbles.

Public scandal makes easy fodder for critics, and pundits have made an industry of commenting on failure. But I’d like to focus on the thoughts of one of the most quoted and inspirational leaders of the 20th century, Winston Churchill. The U.K. prime minister, celebrated as bold, brave, resolute, and tireless in his leadership during World War II, also had his share of political and military failures.…

June 4, 2018

The Perils for Internal Audit of Donning a “Black Hat”

One of the enduring challenges for internal auditors is how to sustain trusting relationships if they are frequently called upon to assist in investigations of executive and employee misconduct. As I observed in a 2014 blog post, the reality is that many internal auditors are asked to assume responsibilitie​​s related to corporate investigations.​

More than 80 percent of respondents to The IIA’s 2015 Common Body of Knowledge survey indicated that their internal audit function had some degree of responsibility for detecting fraud within their organizations. That number changed little in the past three years. Current data from IIA members s​​​how 73 percent of CAEs report having fraud auditing as part of their responsibilities.…