What Does It Take to Be a Highly Successful CAE?
- Executive presence. The CAE can function comfortably in the “C Suite” and is viewed as a “peer” by other members of the corporate executive leadership team. The audit committee will typically see the CAE’s executive skills on par with others who come before it.
- Strategic thinker. Highly successful CAEs are not focused solely on preparing and delivering next year’s audit plan. Instead, they have their audit function looking ahead to ensure capabilities will align with stakeholder and corporate needs three to five years in the future.
- Risk centric. The CAE has a keen understanding of risk management and how the audit function should align coverage to address the most significant risks facing the enterprise. Maintaining a cyclical audit plan is easy, but successful CAEs understand its ultimate limitations.
- Innovative. One of the most pervasive traits of highly successful CAEs is their commitment to excellence through innovation. In addition to leveraging technology, they are constantly challenging their organizations to enhance processes and services.
- Objective. A fundamental attribute of professional auditors is objectivity. In no one is it more critical that objectivity be demonstrated than the CAE. Others within the enterprise must believe the CAE is fair and unbiased in directing the work and outcomes of the internal audit activity. Highly successful CAEs are almost always described by their peers as “fair” and objective.
- Strong communicator. The ability to communicate meaningfully and impactfully with key stakeholders is vital to the success of any CAE. Highly successful CAEs have strong communication abilities as part of their DNA.
- Courageous. CAEs must possess the courage to “call it like it is.” Highly successful CAEs instinctively know the right thing to do when faced with a dilemma. More importantly, they set a tone in their internal audit functions so that everyone draws on their courage and objectivity.
Posted on Sep 23, 2009 by Richard Chambers
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