November 2019

November 25, 2019

​IIA Takes a Principled View of Corporate Governance

For the better part of a decade, corporate scandals have emerged with embarrassing regularity. Whether involving circumventing regulations, financial misstatements, or executive misbehavior, each is a reflection of something gone terribly wrong.

Unfortunately, the natural inclination when such a scandal occurs is to seek out someone to blame. I have written often about my angst at hearing the question, “Where were the internal auditors?” as part of the blame game. I addressed that very question in a 2016 blog post.

Jumping to the conclusion that internal audit could have prevented a failure is often akin to blaming a quarterback for being sacked or a goalie for giving up a score without examining the performance of the rest of the team.…

November 18, 2019

Keeping an Eye on Culture Using New IIA Guidance

One of the most valuable services The IIA provides is developing thought leadership that offers insight and foresight for internal audit practitioners. Such content is the culmination of efforts to gather and distill the latest information about issues that influence effective risk management, strong internal controls, and good corporate governance. Supported by a global network of knowledgeable volunteers who work in the internal audit trenches, The IIA creates content that peers into the future and informs practitioners about what they need to know to protect and enhance value within their organizations.

Another vital content component is formal guidance. Practice Guides, grounded in the International Standards for the Professional Practice of Internal Auditing and other components of the International Professional Practices Framework, reflect the natural maturation of practices and processes that were once cutting edge and have subsequently evolved into best practices.…

November 12, 2019

Enforce or Enlighten? This Should Not Be a Dilemma for Internal Audit

I have lost count of the number of times in my career when I heard someone refer to internal auditors as “corporate police” who hide behind the trees with their proverbial radar gun waiting on a transgression by a company official or other employee. This perception is unfortunate, because internal auditors can be so much more effective and valued when they are not seen as the organizational “cops.”

To be sure, we have an important mission of providing assurance on the effectiveness of internal controls. Ineffective or nonexistent controls, which can be breached intentionally or unintentionally, present risks to the organization.…

November 4, 2019

The Road Ahead for Internal Audit: 5 Bold Predictions for the 2020s

Internal auditing has a long history of successfully pivoting to meet the growing and changing needs of its stakeholders. From its transition to risk-based auditing in the 1990s to its response to regulatory changes in fraud and corruption laws, financial reporting, and most recently, data privacy and culture, the profession has historically adapted to address the dynamic expectations of its key stakeholders.

As this decade comes to a close, I am looking ahead to exciting new prospects for the future. Last month, I shared some predictions about macro trends that could shape our lives and impact the organizations in which we work.…