Personal Reflection

Posted By: Joe

Personal Reflection - 05/23/06 05:16 AM

Being an Audit Manager, I have received the following remarks from one of my staff, can some one help me on how to respond to him. Thanks

I believe that IAD members cooped in their regular assignments often drift from the main core spirit of internal auditing. It is not that auditors uncovering of the weaknesses in our internal controls that crowns his/her efforts but the fashion these weaknesses are reported and addressed to management for resolution. In my opinion solution providing is not internal audit strongest edge, but rather the continuous pursuit for improving management awareness and for stimulating management directives for resolving such issues. To escalate this opinion further, I rarely came across audit recommendations that has completely laid down a full recovery or remedial plan for an issue with all necessary work through data analysis and process re-engineering although auditors may participate in such. Nevertheless, our role remains supplementary in the problem solving stage, where our act may at its best be in the form of supervisory consulting but not the decision maker.

An auditor may easily be off track while auditing certain entities, and assumes the role of process designer, product developer, and even business risk taker. But to push that sensation over board would breach the very fundamental principals of professionalism and would fail to meet the minimum specialization due diligence in any field, not to expand on the negative effect on the over all organization once managerial decisions are solely driven by plain guts feeling. In short, I place institutional decision making as a well planned process whereby functionalities are assigned to team of experts to formulate a conclusion prior to the granting of any Yea's or Nay's.

In substantial business matters, I prefer as an auditor to raise the flag and call for management attention to any bleeding site, stand by with first aid support, until proper expertise are put in place for remedy,.....but never personally hold the sergeant knife.

Posted By: blue

Re: Personal Reflection - 05/24/06 01:47 PM

It's a little rambling but I think the point the writer is trying to make is that internal audit is a staff function not part of line management. As a staff function, audit has no direct responsibility for processes, controls or management's decisions thus remaining independent of those items. This is audit's strength -- independence. Line manangement has the role of decision maker; audit advises management as their ally, conscience, and devil's advocate but is not management.
At least that's my take in one paragraph on what they are saying. And I agree with what I have typed. Management decides; audit advises. Otherwise the independence of audit is breached.
Posted By: SavannahOne

Re: Personal Reflection - 05/24/06 02:34 PM

It's Dilbert speak.

This mindset tends to develop when audit is being held to the fire by management/board/audit committee not just for finding the problem, but for fixing it as well.

Dilbert is trying to tell you audit is being but under the gun to answer why, specifically, a particular error has not been corrected and/or to provide and answer to a timeframe for resolution when only the operational line managers can actually provide that information.