Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Can You Audit What You Can't See?

Last week I shared a New York Times post on the "Assurance Careers & News " Group on LinkedIn covering the FIFA corruption scandal. The discussion was entitled “Corruption in FIFA? Its Auditors Saw None”. The post generated a few comments, one of which read as follows:

                                            You can't audit what you can't see...

I am familiar with the phrase “you can’t audit what you don’t understand “, but this one was new to me. While I don’t exactly understand what the comment author meant by “see” (I am assuming sarcasm!), I can’t imagine how the auditors did not see the red flags! You may not see corruption physically, but you can smell it in the air!

I hope this case serves as a good reminder of the importance of professional skepticism for both external and Internal Auditors, and with this, I leave you with a self-explanatory paragraph from A 2004 CPA Journal Article:

 Our auditing standards require us to maintain “professional skepticism” for a reason. Human nature is still subject to temptations such as greed. As CPAs, we are neither to assume that management is dishonest nor assume unquestionable honesty. Moreover, we are required to obtain “persuasive evidence” to support any belief in management’s honesty as it regards any business issue or activity. And we are to do so each and every audit, for each and every issue.”

Please share your thoughts

Picture Source: through Google Search

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