December 28, 2022

A Dozen Who Made a Difference:

2022 Internal Audit Beacon Awards

​In 2019, I shared a list of the internal audit thought leaders of the decade. The list alerted internal auditors around the world about outstanding men and women in our field who worked tirelessly to elevate and promote the internal audit profession through writing, speaking, use of social media and networking. The blog was so popular that I crafted a new list at the end of 2020 to recognize the ten thought leaders of the year.

After stepping down from The IIA in 2021, I promised to continue recognizing the internal audit thought leaders around the world who make a difference in our profession through annual “Internal Audit Beacon Awards.”…

December 23, 2022

A Bad Month for Internal Audit Just Got a Little Better

Earlier this week, I posted a blog about recent fines levied against two former Wells Fargo internal auditors. The blog was a call to action for internal audit executives and governments around the world. I called on CAEs to consider in the factors that led to the Wells Fargo fines when setting and reviewing their own quality assurance and improvement programs. I also called on governments to legislate safeguards and protections for internal auditors who find they “are handcuffed when it comes to executing their roles free of restrictions and interference.” I noted that if governments are determined “to call “balls and strikes” on how internal audit executes its role, then they should provide safeguards that will enable internal auditors to swing the bat when needed.”

December 19, 2022

Fines Against Internal Auditors Raise Serious Questions

With greater scrutiny should come greater protections

Not much surprises me these days, but recent actions by an administrative law judge for the U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) are shocking. The judge recommended stiff penalties against three former Wells Fargo executives – the chief risk officer, the chief audit executive (CAE) and an internal audit director – over sales misconduct at the bank, according to a recent article in American Banker, a financial services trade publication. A combined $8.5 million in “civil money penalties” against the two internal audit executives is virtually unprecedented in my memory – particularly when examining the grounds upon which the fines were leveled.…

December 12, 2022

In 2022 My Top 10 Blogs Revealed a Lot About Internal Auditors’ Priorities

Each year about this time, I reflect back on the year and the blogs I have written. Having authored almost 600 blog posts over the past 14 years, I have come to believe their readership is a good litmus test for what’s on internal auditors’ minds. So, as I have done over the years, I have identified the 10 most-read blogs in 2022 to re-share with you – in case you missed some.

The 50 blogs I authored in 2022 have been read more than 150,000 times by readers in over 180 countries around the world. When I review the 10 most read blogs of 2022, three key themes emerge: (1) internal auditors are anxious for solutions to strategic risks facing their departments; (2) they are vitally interested in strategies to win and sustain audit committee support for internal audit; and (3) they are constantly seeking ways to improve processes and achieve agility in a period of uncertainty.…

December 8, 2022

Here Comes 2023! What’s Keeping the C-suite Awake?

Each year, there are a handful of survey-based research reports that are highly anticipated for those of us who like to peer toward the risk horizon. I recently shared insights on AuditBoard’s 2023 Focus on the Future Report, which surveyed American chief audit executives on vulnerabilities facing their organizations in the year ahead. In September, I shared a similar report by The ECIIA on the perspectives of European CAEs. The blogs, which were posted the same day the reports were released, continue to generate readership around the world.

This week, another highly anticipated report is being released. The 11th annual Executive Perspectives on Top Risks for 2023 and 2032 is a joint undertaking by North Carolina State University’s ERM Initiative and Protiviti.…

December 1, 2022

New Report: 2023 Will Likely Present More Challenges Than Internal Auditors Think

Regular readers of my blogs will know that I frequently share highlights from new research or thought leadership that sheds light on the trends and outlook for internal audit. In addition to sharing reports by others, I also work with AuditBoard to articulate our perspectives on the ongoing challenges and opportunities facing the internal audit profession.

This week, we released our latest report: 2023 Focus on the Future – Internal Audit Must Accelerate its Response in Addressing Key Risks. The report is based on a survey of audit leaders conducted in September and October 2022, and reveals a lack of alignment between top risks facing businesses and the level of effort internal audit is putting toward those vulnerabilities.…

November 21, 2022

FTX’s Lack of Governance and Internal Auditors Should Have Been Red Flags

Over the years, I have written several blogs and articles focused on corporate culture. The recent collapse of FTX reminds us once again how toxic culture and ineffective corporate governance can destroy a company. The words of the newly appointed CEO of FTX, from the company’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy declaration, are a searing indictment:

“Never in my career have I seen such a complete failure of corporate controls and such a complete absence of trustworthy financial information as occurred here. From compromised systems integrity and faulty regulatory oversight abroad, to the concentration of control in the hands of a very small group of inexperienced, unsophisticated and potentially compromised individuals, this situation is unprecedented.”

November 15, 2022

Call For Nominations – 4th Annual Internal Audit Beacon Awards

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

I am pleased to announce the 4th annual recognition through my website AuditBeacon.com. Next month AuditBeacon.com will acknowledge global internal thought leaders who have made a significant contribution to advancing the internal audit profession around the world in 2022. Individuals will be recognized for contributions through publishing, video and audio media; speaking; and advocating the value of internal auditing around the world.…

November 7, 2022

Dear Audit Committee – Guess Who Audits The Most Critical Risks?

An Open Letter to Audit Committee members

To: Members of the audit committee
From: Richard Chambers
Re: Reassessing your role when it comes to internal audit

Congratulations on being a member of the audit committee for your company!

Your service in this role reflects that you are a seasoned executive whose business and financial acumen places you among the elite members of your board. However, before you pat yourself on the back for the job you are doing, perhaps you should reflect on the full scope of your responsibilities.

The role of the audit committee and its value to the organization have dramatically increased in importance in the past decade.…

October 31, 2022

Internal Auditors: Put Away Your Radar Guns (and focus on traffic safety)

As my faithful blog readers know, I like use analogies to make a point to members of the internal audit profession. Over the years, I have encouraged us to courageously “sail toward the storms” confronting our organizations. I have argued that we must “push against closed doors” to gain full access to information. I have even argued that we must shed our image as “bean counters” and demonstrate our expertise on how beans are grown, harvested, and taken to market.
Over the past two decades, we have shed many of the classic stereotypes that weighted us down for so much of our storied past.…