February 2023

February 20, 2023

The Perils of Internal Audit as ’Corporate Police’

I recently saw a LinkedIn post with a compelling photograph of a smiling police officer and the caption, “Internal Auditors Are Not the Organization’s Police Force.” My first instinct was to agree with the post, but I reflected on the fact that many are seen as playing the role of corporate cop – some by their own choice, some by the choice of management.

Those internal auditors who choose to be “the police” by the way they execute their roles should never complain about relationship struggles they might endure. Choices have consequences.

But as I have observed in my blog over the years, the reality is that many internal auditors are asked to assume responsibilities involving corporate investigations.…

February 13, 2023

When an Internal Audit Client Shows You Who They Are – Believe Them!

Famed American poet Maya Angelou once observed: “When people show you who they are, believe them the first time.” I have always found that to be incredibly sound advice, in both personal and professional relationships. Those words came to mind recently when a chief audit executive (CAE) shared with me an experience with an internal audit client.

The saga started when a new director took over corporate procurement two years ago. The CAE’s staff met with the procurement director at the beginning of an internal audit, and they were warmly received. The director spoke glowingly about the importance of internal audit, and said he looked forward to the assurance they would provide about the effectiveness of procurement operations.…

February 6, 2023

​​​​‘Good Internal Auditors Ain’t Cheap’ and ‘Cheap Internal Auditors Ain’t (Always) Good’

OK, I know, my headline isn’t grammatically correct. But in full transparency, I repurposed the phrase from Norman Keith Collins, known popularly as Sailor Jerry,a prominent 20th century American tattoo artist from Hawaii. I don’t normally quote tattoo artists, but I think Sailor Jerry was on to something: You generally get what you pay for.

What does all of this have to do with internal auditors? I believe it is precisely the problem that plagues some internal audit functions, and it is a contributing factor to the lingering talent shortage facing the profession. I also believe that it is not always an accident that internal auditors (starting with the CAE) are not paid as well as they should be.…