Saturday, 28 February 2015

Internal Auditors : Beware of the "Risk Management" Syndrome !

When I am asked  what brought Arthur Andersen down ( I am a former AA partner) , I always say : "The Andersen Consulting " Syndrome!The start of the end of the firm began when the AA leadership decided that they want to be consultants rather than traditional auditors!This happened as a  result of the divorce with Andersen Consulting. The idea was simple: we have created Andersen Consulting and we are capable of creating another consulting arm ! The catastrophic result of this policy was to convert the partners to "salesmen" and for the firm to lose its professional compass and to head for disaster !

With that in mind and with the ever increasing importance of risk management , some internal auditors may get too excited and try to act as risk managers! This could happen because ,among other things :

  - they think they can do a better job in managing risks
  - filling a vacuum in the risk management process ,
  - asked by management to do so
  - lack of understanding of the internal audit boundaries when it comes to risk management

Although this is not happening at an alarming scale, I am just trying to give an early warning , based on my observation of few cases, that some internal auditors may fall into this trap!

As internal auditors, our job is to provide management with assurance regarding the effectiveness and efficiency of its risk management process and not to duplicate or replace it. While this is obvious to the vast majority of internal auditors ,this post is directed at the very few who suffer from the risk management syndrome !

Monday, 2 February 2015

How "Continuous " Mindset Helped in shoveling My Driveway ?

I have just completed "another round" of shoveling my driveway and maintaining its reputation as the " cleanest " driveway in the neighborhood during snow seasons !
The key to this reputation is in the word " continuous " which I have learned from applying continuous" auditing " and continuous "monitoring " of risks in my professional life ! I learned to always be on top of things and never leave a room to surprises and accumulation of problems /risks. Applying this concept to my household was a blessing (despite the wife's complains ) !
Continuous " anything" requires commitment ,determination and finding the time for it . Not every body can do that ,but at least they should put the effort .
Another lesson that I learned from my professional life is that " outsourcing" does not always work . I used to "outsource" the shovelling to snow removal companies over the years ,and found myself unsatisfied with their services and ended up cleaning after them ,that is if they show up when you need them ! If you can do the job efficiently ,don't outsource ! And this is an advice from someone who makes his living from outsourcing !

Internal Audit as A Disruptor!

Disruption   has been one of the most used words in the last few years. It has been used by people who understand its true nature and me...