Monday, March 15, 2021

When Internal Audit Is Agile And The Audit Committee Is Not!

The traditional challenge for Internal Audit was in its ability to meet and/or exceed its stakeholders' growing expectations. While some Internal Audit functions may have suffered and failed to achieve this objective,  I would like to believe that most of the functions have been successful not only in meeting the expectations but also in taking the lead and initiative to introduce change and innovation and prove their relevance!

One of the buzzwords and trends nowadays is "agile internal auditing". Internal Audit functions around the world are working on understanding what it is about, exploring what it means to their operations and how to successfully implement it in their organizations. A successful implementation requires the buy-in and collaboration of stakeholders. You would think that management and the audit committees would be thrilled when Internal Audit starts the transformation process. That would be true in most cases, but sometimes there are forces within the Organization that resist change. When these forces are management, Internal Audit can seek the support of the audit committee to convince management. But, what if the audit committee is the resisting force? Imagine a situation where a CAE approaches the audit committee with  his/her plans to implement agile internal auditing and the answer he/she gets is:

  • "This is a luxury we can't afford",
  • "Stick with the audit plan, it works", 
  • "This is not the time for a dramatic change", 
  • "We don't have the resources and/or experience to do this", 
  • " We will think about it",
  • "What is agile internal auditing?"
Does this sound familiar? If you have heard any of the above responses, you are not alone! 

What comes to your mind when you hear such a response? You may conclude that Internal Audit did not do a good job communicating the concept and benefits of agile internal auditing to the audit committee. Perhaps they did not explain that it is more of a  mindset than a methodology, that it can be applied gradually, that it is not all or nothing approach or a one approach fits all solution. The reaction of the audit committee could indicate that there is a deeper disconnect with the audit committee! You may also conclude that the audit committee members don't possess the right mindset, vision, experience, or qualification to discharge their duties in these uncertain times! 

What will be your strategy to bridge the gap with the audit committee and initiate the transformation to agile internal auditing.? Please share your experience and thoughts. And remember to:

                                                               "be agile, be alive"!

Adapgility Consulting is your Internal Audit Partner and can help with the agility transformation process.










Picture source:www.hme-business.com




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