The vast majority of my blogs are focused on the strategies and practices that internal auditors can deploy to generate value and succeed as professionals. However, it is important to occasionally step back and discuss actions or mistakes that can prevent or derail success. Everyone makes mistakes, but some should be avoided at all costs.
Success in internal auditing rarely happens overnight, and it’s never guaranteed. It can take years to develop the requisite knowledge, skills, and expertise, and even then the process of learning and improving never really ends. But the most carefully planned internal audit career can come crashing down in a moment over a serious mistake. Get lazy, careless, or worse, fail to live up to the core principles for the professional practice of internal auditing, and an internal auditor may never recover.
I’ve compiled a number of what I call “internal audit sins” that have the potential to ruin an otherwise bright career. They are:
Any of these seven “sins” can deeply undermine the role and reputation of internal audit, and wield a fatal blow to the perpetrator’s career. But I believe there also are ways to overcome blunders that aren’t intentional or malicious. In an upcoming blog, I’ll talk about seven cardinal virtues that can fuel an internal audit career to soar from the ordinary to the extraordinary.