From the Mind of Mike Jacka No Description Blogo Wed, 23 Apr 2014 22:31:41 GMT en-us David Griffiths Mike. If there isn't a comic-orientated convention near your readers, can I suggest the books of Edward de Bono on lateral thinking as a start? On a more practical front, internal auditors could start by redesigning their reports. Give your staff a challenge - design a report that the board would be surprised to receive.

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Mike Jacka Great idea!  We'll have to add that to the next catalogue.


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David Griffiths Mike. You've not mentioned the assurance blanket. This blanket, signed by CEOs and Chief Financial Officers, guarantees a good night's sleep for budding internal auditors because nothing can possibly go wrong,,,

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Cheryl Johannes Brings to mind the saying..."you can agree to disagree."

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David Griffiths Mike - have managers changed over the past 40 years in the way they handle conflict? When I joined my company (in the UK) in the mid-70s you could disagree with senior management, they seemed to see this as evidence of an inquiring challenging mind (though you'd better come up with robust reasoning). As younger managers came through, disagreement was disliked. It was seen as 'disloyal' and very often those who disagreed were 'let go' or demoted. The younger managers seemed to lack the confidence of their predecessors. This may have arisen because many many had little experience of managing people whereas the older managers had this experience, probably through 'national service' (conscription into the armed forces). Are the new breed of managers more afraid of conflict?

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David Griffiths Mike, although there is no quick, easy solution to the problem, I found that having computer auditors with a programming background certainly helps. I've known data which would take 'weeks to obtain' (as stated by IT staff) come down to a few days once a computer auditor started asking a few questions and they know where to look for data. It's one of the reasons I only recruited programmers to be computer auditors (who then took the ISACA exams). You need a few 'poachers turned gamekeepers', to use an english expression

]]> Wed, 12 Mar 2014 18:40:11 GMT
David Griffiths I agree wholeheartedly with your article but would make the vow slighly different: Never ask for information unless you can define the decision you will make as a result of receiving it. Further, don't ask for, or provide, information at an accuracy greater than you can achieve and don't ask for it in a timeframe when you won't use it. My website expands on what a decision is (usually an internal control!).

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Mike Jacka David, let me throw in another thought (and a slightly different perspective than I may have given in the post).  The other thing I can say from my involvement is that there is usually some consideration for what is new.  No one goes into planning with the idea that it will be the same old thing.  That is part of the reason the (as I put it) flavors-of-the-month wind up on the agendas; it shows that someone is looking at what is new.  And, as I mentioned, I have been to many conferences where there is at least one general session about changing landscapes and potential impacts on all professions.

However, I would like to see more that is "new" and challenging.  That doesn't mean that old topics should be abolished, it is just means they have to be presented with content that is new, different, and, above all, practical for the attendees.

(And, in spite of my rubber chicken title, meals have become much better at these events.)


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David Griffiths Mike, thanks for the above insight.  I must confess I've always naively assumed that conference organizers choose presentations on the basis of what's new and challenging, as opposed to what's safe and reassuring. However, since conferences have, to break even (at least) they must provide what the prospective attendees want. I now understand why conference agendas always seem the same and you've made that clear with your example of fraud. (I've never understood why auditors get so excited about fraud. Most organizations run into trouble due to bad decisions made by the board but you never see a presentation on 'Auditing the board's decision making process'. It's not as difficult as it sounds - I've managed such an audit). I must confess that I always went on conferences to see new places and chat to fellow auditors over a good meal but perhaps I'm an exception

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Tim Leech Mon, 10 Feb 2014 22:38:07 GMT David Griffiths I'm not sure I understand you when you say, 'Because risk is today's issue.' I think risk has always been the issue and will always be the issue. The problem is where are the risks coming from in the future? That's where we have to be creative. For example, are we considering the risks of Google and Apple knowing our (and our senior executives) every move (through location on our smartphones) and our future moves (through calendars)? Let's hope their risk assessment and controls are good.

]]> Mon, 10 Feb 2014 18:25:25 GMT
Mike Jacka David,

Don't worry.  My comments were more specifically related to conversations I had with other auditors. And your point about different shops being affected differently is definitely on point.

I can't tell you exactly what's coming next because I haven't got it figured out myself.  I can only say that it will reference a lot of the topics that have come up in the comments here and from other individuals.


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