Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Internal Audit is not A Desk Job, Keep Moving!

In today's IIA webinar "An Outlook of the Internal Audit Landscape for the Year Ahead ", the following slide was presented:


While all the above mentioned resolutions are important, the one relating to " Build Deeper Relationships" is , in my opinion, of extra importance and could be the most difficult .

Yesterday, a report in Canadian television stations discussed the negative health effects of desk jobs and suggested that employees should move and stand while doing their jobs! I am calling on internal auditors to keep moving ,not only for health reasons ,but for the health of their relationships.

Building deeper relationships can't be achieved through emails, memos and telephone calls alone,it requires  personal interaction and face to face meetings. I fully understand the time constraints ,but make sure your audit plan includes time for personal interactions and treat it as an investment in the achievement of the internal audit objectives.

A successful CAE is that who makes it his  mission to meet with his "customers" at every possible opportunity.This does not have to be an official meeting at all times ,but the types of " watercooler talks",  I am not referring to gossip here, but to small talks that help build professional relationships . This is not limited to the CAE ,but applies to all levels of auditors who should attempt to do as much work at the "customers" offices as possible and practical.

Those who follow my writings have probably heard about my 4 P's in conducting audits:

Professionalism
Patience
Persistence
Personalization

Personalization refers to the fact that people are different and internal auditors need to develop a personalized plan to approach and deal with them. During my long audit career ( external and internal) ,I used to invest few minutes collecting information about the people I plan to meet with to discuss planned audits. I looked for what their interests are and I used it as an opining to our meetings and an ice breaker. The first thing I do when I enter an office is to scan its contents for family pictures and other contents that may indicate a hobby or an interest area. Even the most difficult "customer" would love to talk about his/her kids!
This approach never failed me in the 35+ years of my professional career .You need to be careful though not to engage in controversial subjects such as politics and religion!

You can't get to know people's expectations without knowing them (the people) first!

Your new year resolution theme should be " leave your office and mingle with your customers!

These are my thoughts ,please share yours!




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