September 2022

September 26, 2022

Internal Auditors – Beware of Your Own Ethical Lapses

Internal auditors are ethical, right? After all, we see ourselves as “beacons of ethical behavior,” shining a light on the misdeeds of others in our organizations. If you can’t trust the internal auditor, who can you trust? Yet, at the end of the day, we are also human. We are subject to the same pressures (culturally, politically, and organizationally) as everyone else in the enterprise. So, maybe we are vulnerable, after all.

But can we so complacent? I think not.

History is littered with instances in which the ethical compass of internal auditors appeared to fail, and rather spectacularly. The recent arrest and conviction of a public sector auditor in Uganda, for example, might be easily dismissed as an isolated transgression in a remote part of the world.…

September 20, 2022

New European IIA Report Offers Internal Auditors an Early Glimpse Into 2023

Each year, internal auditors can draw on a series of reports to augment their perspectives on the risks that are expected to confront their organizations in the months and years ahead. The first of these reports is the annual “Risk in Focus: Hot Topics for Internal Auditors,” compiled annually by the European Confederation of Institutes of Internal Auditors (ECIIA), and it never disappoints! The “2023 Risk in Focus” report was just released and, once again, it’s a must-read resource for internal auditors who are preparing to undertake their annual risk assessment and audit planning process.

While I strongly advocate a methodology for continuously monitoring risks and maintaining and refreshing a dynamic audit plan, I know that undertaking an annual risk assessment that fosters an initial calendar year audit plan is still the most common approach.…

September 15, 2022

Recession Clouds Are Forming – What Should Internal Audit Do To Get Ready?

Over the past couple of months, fears of a looming recession have percolated around the world, with politicians and pundits in the United States debating whether one’s already underway in the U.S. (defined as two consecutive quarters of negative GDP growth). Regardless of if or when we officially enter a recession, one thing is certain: A “recession watch” is already impacting internal audit.   

I went into a recent CAE roundtable fully expecting more conversation about internal audit resource growth, shifting audit priorities, and the festering talent shortage. Instead, CAEs talked about budget cuts, hiring freezes and audit priorities that are shifting to address recessionary risks.…

September 9, 2022

Internal Auditors Know That Smart People Can Do Dumb Things

I recently shared a blog that proved very popular with the profession. Internal Auditors Must Remember: Good People Can Do Bad Things resonated with readers around the world who are constantly seeking to reconcile a person’s character with potential misdeeds. While it is true that good people can do bad things, it is likewise true that smart/capable people can do dumb things.

We don’t have to look far to identify instances in which decisions destroyed shareholder value in a company or the hard-earned reputation of a government agency. Such blunders are often made by incredibly seasoned professionals who get careless or exercise poor judgement.…