I recently led a creative problem-solving seminar for the IIA and, in an effort to embody the creative spirit I was supposed to be preaching, I came up with a different problem for the participants to solve. Unfortunately, we didn’t have time for my extra, bonus material. However, their loss is your gain.
At the end of last Monday’s blog, I threw out the question “How is it you explain what being an internal auditor really means?” And that’s the challenge I’m going to throw your way. However, this is a challenge with a twist. You see, I remember when the IIA changed the definition of internal auditing. While it was a very important endeavor, and the time and effort spent was of benefit to us all, the machinations I witnessed from afar (I can’t imagine what it must have been like to be in the actual rooms) was like watching people fight over how many consultants could dance on the head of a period. Are we consultants, are we experts, are we independent, are we risk managers, are we not men, are we Devo? Again, important considerations, but it would have driven me bugfritzed (yes, I just made that word up) to be a part of the process.
And, while the IIA’s definition does an excellent job of laying out what internal auditing is, I am a little more than sure that its application in the average conversation is limited. In other words, I’ve never had the guts to use that definition when explaining to my friends, acquaintances, and relatives what it is, exactly, I do for a living. How ‘bout you?
Of course, I don’t have a quick answer either. Which brings us back to the challenge – a challenge with a twist:
Twelve words or less
Either define internal auditing or explain what an internal auditor does
No use of “our” buzzwords. That is, no words we understand instantly but for which the general public will just stare at us quizzically. Examples include “controls”, “assurance”, “mitigation”, “governance”…you get the idea.
So, quoting one of the Bobs in Office Space, “Well, what would you say …you do around here?”