Defining Internal Auditing - A Little Audience Participation

Posted on Jan 30, 2011

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.

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A Real, Live, Honest-to-Goodness Book Review

Posted on Jan 28, 2011

Every once in a while it doesn’t hurt us to be reminded that the work we do is review the work of human beings. (As someone said to me the other day as we were rescheduling for the umpty-umpth time, “They’re people, not spreadsheet cells.”) Yes we look at figures, yes we look at entries, yes we analyze processes, yes we verify controls. But, when all is said, done, and put in a report, we are evaluating what has been accomplished by the human beings with which we interact.

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An Audit of Controls Relating to the Declaration of Independence - Opinion and Some Issues

Posted on Jan 25, 2011

Last week, I was nigh on apoplectic to have the opportunity to present for your consideration the first part of a report discovered in the dusty archives of an audit report collector. That report had been commissioned by Benjamin Franklin to validate the existence of controls over the declaring of independence by the United States. Today, I reach new paroxysms of joy from the opportunity to present the opinion and some of the issues from that same report. 

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Taxicab Confessions

Posted on Jan 24, 2011

On the cab ride to the Seattle airport last week I had one of those cabbies who was a great conversationalist. He was not the type who forced his conversation on his fare, and he was not the type who babbled non-stop. There were pauses, there was give and take, there was recognition that we were both willfully engaging in the exchange – it was a conversation. 

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Collaboration: The Hobgoblin of Consistency

Posted on Jan 20, 2011

How do you decide the number of auditors to assign to an audit? What is the “right” number? Do you shy away from having just one auditor? Does every audit require a lead and followers? How is the decision made? Why won’t I quit asking questions and get to the point? 

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An Audit of Controls Relating to the Declaration of Independence

Posted on Jan 19, 2011

While digging through the desk of a recently retired auditor, I was lucky enough to stumble across his collection of historical audit reports. Based on documentation he maintained, he amassed this fine collection through purchases on eBay. He seems to have had great success with the keyword searches “Internal Audit Reports.” (No one else seems to have ever used that particular search.) 

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Why Marketing Internal Audit is Important: Rules Three, Four, and Zero

Posted on Jan 17, 2011

Last Monday, I presented the first two of my four rules for why marketing internal audit is important – thoughts that sprang from a blog posting from Seth Godin. Rule #1: To want your audit services, people have to know you exist.  Rule #2: You must persuade people they want you.  Rule #2A: And persuade them to pay anything to get what you have.  (Yes, I know I know that’s really three rules – but work with me here.)

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Ethical vs Legal, and Empathetic Auditing?

Posted on Jan 13, 2011

Jerry Weintraub’s autobiography When I Stop Talking You’ll Know I’m Dead is the story of how he became one of the great entertainment power-brokers - agent, producer, promoter, etc – of our time. Two of the stories he tells (and the book is, if nothing else, a collection of incredible stories), when viewed together, speak to an interesting attribute of not only Mr. Weintraub but, I would argue, an interesting attribute of us all. 

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Continuing to Audit on Snowy Evening

Posted on Jan 12, 2011

Robert Frost's take on Internal Audit

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Why Marketing Internal Audit is Important: Four Rules

Posted on Jan 10, 2011

I have had more than one person question me about why I spend so much time reading, writing, and talking about marketing and promotion. Implied in this question is that auditors are wasting their time when they spend too much time in these areas. And even those who recognize there are important marketing aspects within internal audit have indicated that I might be going overboard. But I am firmly convinced that the survival of any audit department is deeply rooted in a profound understand of the importance and practical application of marketing techniques. 

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