Monday, November 3, 2014

Do External Auditors Take Internal Auditors Seriously ?

I have a confession to make! When I was in external audit (many years ago) ,the general feeling was that we, the big 5 ( back then ) consultants & auditors, are the best of the best in our industry and nobody is comparable to us! In that spirit, internal auditors were looked at as boring employees with no real skills and ambitions! Accordingly, using the work of internal auditors was not something that  some external auditors took seriously at that time !

The reason for this perception or stereotyping was due to external auditors suffering from the "big ego" syndrome and internal auditors suffering from the "low ego" syndrome! Needless to say both were wrong. At that time, internal auditors failed miserably to market themselves and to bring their skills up to date. The above statements are based on my personal experience at a  specific point of time in specific geographic areas ,but my feeling is that it was a wide spread perception!

That was the pas , what about the present? As for me personally, I have shifted my focus from external audit to internal audit and became a strong advocate of the internal audit profession. I am pleased with the progress internal auditors have made during the last decade although they still need to work harder on their development . I think there is a healthy shift in how external auditors perceive internal auditors  and a greater reliance on their work! But is it enough? Do external auditors take internal auditors seriously and seek to cooperate with them ?

I don't have a definitive answers to the above questions ,so please contribute to this discussion and share your views and experience .

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