May 2021

May 31, 2021

5 Reasons People Stay in Toxic Cultures

In a recently published blog, I discussed why internal auditors need to use more than their senses of sight and sound when auditing culture. I quoted a respected corporate director from India who has observed that we must also use our sense of “smell.” Following publication of the blog, a former colleague reached out to me and asked: “Isn’t a clear indication of ‘toxic culture’ the fact that employee turnover is high? Don’t people just leave if the culture gets too bad?”

It was a good question, but it was also a topic I wrote about in 2018. The fact is that many people do leave toxic cultures.…

May 24, 2021

Auditing Culture Also Requires a Sense of “Smell”

When I launched my internal audit career, the idea of auditing the “softer” side of an organization’s culture was anathema to the profession. Back in the day, it was believed internal audit should focus on hard controls, such as policies and procedures. If we strayed into any area touching on culture, we still focused on hard controls such as codes of conduct or human resources policies. Evaluating concepts as intangible as trust, ethics, competence, and leadership styles was something for psychologists and pop-culture gurus to worry about. In retrospect, a lot of heartache and failure across a multitude of organizations might have been prevented had internal audit taken on the full spectrum of culture 40 years ago.…

May 16, 2021

Creating Awareness About Internal Audit’s Value Takes More Than a Month

It is May again, and as many internal auditors know, that means International Internal Audit Awareness Month is upon us. The IIA, along with its affiliated institutes and partners and sponsors around the world are vigorously promoting the value that internal audit brings to fostering stronger internal risk management, internal controls, and corporate governance. Awareness month has long provided an opportunity for practitioners to plan events, gather proclamations, and do other outreach. There is no doubt this positive and coordinated effort helps to build awareness and appreciation of the profession.

As I have expressed before, however, I fear that much more needs to be done to build and sustain an enduring awareness of the profession’s value.…

May 11, 2021

The 7 C’s That Should Be on the Risk Radars of Boards (and Auditors) in 2021

In 2019, I authored a blog titled “The 5 C’s That Should be Keeping Boards (and Auditors) Awake at Night.” I first shared the list at an Institute of Directors (IOD) event in Johannesburg, South Africa. The ensuing blog was very popular, and was shared widely among the internal audit and corporate director communities at the time.  

In the blog I noted that the question I dread most in the wake of a high-profile corporate failure is: “Where were the internal auditors?” I also noted a companion question: “Where was the board?” As we all know, there is never a shortage of risks that can come to fruition and create substantial damage to shareholder/stakeholder value in our organizations.…

May 5, 2021

Why I Chose AuditBoard as the Next Step on My New Journey

After I left The IIA earlier this spring, I shared five goals for my next chapter on the audit trail. Among those goals were to (1) partner with like-minded organizations and individuals to elevate internal auditing, (2) be a timely and vocal champion for the internal audit profession, and (3) to encourage others by imparting wisdom gained from my 4+ decade journey on the audit trail.

As I considered my options earlier this year, I made a decision to set up my own firm through which I could be an advocate and illuminate opportunities for internal auditors around the world.…