November 2021

November 29, 2021

Internal Audit’s Relationship With the General Counsel Can Be Complicated

As a newly appointed chief audit executive many years ago, I tried early to identify the other executives in the organization who would be our strongest allies. I reported to the CEO, but quickly established a strong rapport with the COO, CFO and the general counsel (the chief legal officer). I felt they all supported our mission and were champions for the work we did. Then, suddenly, I locked horns with one of them, and the relationship was in serious disarray.

During the course of an audit. one of my audit teams discovered a potential legal violation in the use of government funds for a construction project.…

November 22, 2021

When There is No Internal Audit – Investors Should Run!

A recent Gallup Poll found that 56 percent of Americans invest in the stock market, which is consistent with historical trends. The statistic varies in other countries, but the fact is, hundreds of millions of individuals around the world, directly or indirectly, are risking their retirement income and financial well-being based on how well the companies they invest in are run.

As more investors seek to benefit from a growing marketplace, they should be cautious when deciding which companies are worthy of their hard-earned dollars. Not only should they understand an organization’s business model and the risks facing the economy, industry, and company, they should also understand how well a company is managed.…

November 15, 2021

Making Auditors “Civil Servants” Isn’t the Right Answer

From time to time, I hear of ideas for “improving” the auditing profession. Some are pretty good, but others catch me totally by surprise and, well, leave me cringing.

That’s the case over a recent interview with the CEO of IIA South Africa in CFO South Africa on the future of audit. In the article, “’Are these the auditors we want?’ asks Julius Mojapelo,” Julius floats two broad proposals for discussion:

  1. The external audit profession should be organized as a “civil service.”
  2. There should be greater regulation of the internal audit profession.

Julius is a friend for whom I have great respect.…

November 12, 2021

Call for Nominations: Internal Audit Beacon Awards

Professions thrive through advocacy and diversity of thought. The internal audit profession is no different. For the past two years, I have recognized 10 men and women who are making an impact on behalf of internal audit around the world.

I am pleased to announce the continuation of the annual recognition through my website Next month will recognize 10 global internal thought leaders who have made a significant contribution to advancing the internal audit profession around the world in 2021. Individuals will be recognized for contributions through publishing, video and audio media; speaking; and advocating the value of internal auditing around the world.…

November 3, 2021

Whose Risk Is It, Anyway? When Management Says ‘No’ to Internal Audit

One of the most frustrating events in my career was one of the first times an internal audit client firmly and repeatedly said “no” to one of my internal audit recommendations. It was an important point and I tried to explain my reasoning. Management agreed with the finding, but believed corrective action would be too time consuming and resource intensive. My supervisor also supported me, and we believed the risks of not implementing corrective action would be very high for the enterprise. But neither of us could persuade management to implement the recommendation or even find an acceptable alternative course of action.…