March 2021

March 28, 2021

My 500th Blog Post: Final Reflections from The IIA

When I assumed the role of President and CEO of The IIA on Jan. 5, 2009, little did I know that I was embarking on what would become the longest and most rewarding professional assignment of my life. The world was in a dark place that winter as economies had plunged into the most severe crisis in seven decades.

As the saying goes, when the economy catches a cold, not-for-profit organizations like The IIA catch the flu. So, with the world suffering pneumonia, my entire focus in those early months was squarely on the challenges we faced as an organization – not the amazing journey that would lie ahead.…

March 22, 2021

​How Agents of Change Can Shape Internal Audit’s Future

As most of my readers are aware, I will be stepping down as president and CEO of The IIA in a few days. While I am looking forward to beginning a new chapter in my nearly 50-year career in internal auditing, I am happy to have completed a significant goal before my final day on the job at The Institute.

Last week, my latest book, Agents of Change: Internal Auditors in an Era of Disruption, debuted at The IIA’s annual General Audit Management virtual conference. The book is being described as the third in a trilogy. When I put pen to paper on my first book, Lessons Learned on the Audit Trail in 2014, it was not my intent to create a series.…

March 17, 2021

When You Spot Fraud, Don’t Break the Eggs

The International Standards for the Professional Practice of Internal Auditing are clear: Internal auditors must possess the knowledge, skills, and competencies needed to carry out their responsibilities. Some internal auditors also have the knowledge and skills to carry out a fraud examination effectively, but most do not. And in an upcoming position paper, The IIA emphasizes that internal auditors should not be expected to have the expertise of those professionals whose primary responsibility is to investigate fraud. The IIA believes fraud investigations are best carried out by those experienced to undertake such assignments.

Hopefully, your organization has a fraud response plan that assigns specific duties and responsibilities.…

March 15, 2021

2021 Pulse of Internal Audit: We Are All in the Same Storm, But Not the Same Boat

​It is hard to believe COVID-19 has dominated our lives for more than a year now. Few could have imagined the depth to which it would influence our lives or change how we operate and interact in business and society in general.

One universal truth that has emerged about the pandemic is that the extent of its impact has varied. In some areas of the world, spread of the virus has been more dramatic, as have been the number of deaths. It is sobering to think that more than 2.6 million people worldwide have succumbed to COVID-19, including more than a half million in the U.S.…

March 8, 2021

U.S. SEC: Environmental, Social, and Governance Risks Better Be on Your Radar

Organizations are under increasing pressure from shareholders, regulators, and other key stakeholders to report on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues. The movement to accurately measure and report the impacts that organizations have on the environment, climate, natural resources, workforce, and community (and their related ethical implications) is rapidly changing how the public interacts with and values businesses and government institutions.

The business world is clearly responding. In 2011, 20% of companies on the S&P 500 issued reports related to sustainability, according to the Governance & Accountability Institute. Today, that number is 90%. It is not surprising, then, that measuring the accuracy of this new discourse has come under increased regulatory scrutiny.…

March 1, 2021

​U.S. Navy Wants to Throw 70% of Its Internal Auditors Overboard

The courageous men and women who risk their lives for our national defense also face dangers from volatile risks, such as cyberattacks and the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, citizens and taxpayers rightly expect efficiency and effectiveness in defense operations. So why would the U.S. Navy make plans to slash its internal audit budget by 70% over the next two years?

The proposed cuts to the Naval Audit Service budget would effectively dismantle the agency, leaving it with 85 employees compared with its current staff of 290. By comparison, the U.S. Army and Air Force audit agencies execute their missions with more than 600 staff members each.…