Characteristics of a World-Class Internal Audit Department, Part II

Last week, we introduced five attributes of a World Class Audit Shop (WCAS). This week, we introduced five more attributes for WCAS. They are:

  • Constantly Striving for Improvement – WCAS not only focus their efforts on operational auditing but they constantly perform an internal operational audit – continuously looking to improve audit efficiency and effectiveness through reassessing currently techniques and utilizing technology as much as possible. Embrace change and become a poster child for change inside the organization.
  • Strong Succession Planning through Recruiting and Training – Turnover in internal audit departments can become overwhelming and is constant, especially with the demand for internal auditors currently. WCAS are constantly looking at advancing current team members and replacing others. WCAS invest in training and development, not just for the department but for the long-term development of each employee.
  • Rapport Building – In last week’s blog, we discussed the importance of communication. I believe that communication is key but building strong relationships and trust is as important. WCAS build friendships and mutual respect so that when difficult conversation are necessary, there is enough invested in the relationship to understand that both parties are acting in the best interests of the company.
  • Market the Benefits of Internal Audit – WCAS view all members of the department as sales people. WCAS are constantly marketing the benefits of internal audit and what we can do to help the organization achieve its objectives.
  • Visionary Leadership – Internal audit is an independent function but is it really? We are all paid by the Company so real independence is through the leadership team and CAE. WCAS know when to battle and know when to let it go. There are many jobs in the world and regardless of how great of a position it is, there are always others. On the other hand, WCAS do not circumvent their ethical being for the organization. If it is worth fighting for, they will fight and they know their leadership team will be supportive.

I have no doubt there are more and I could continue on…..What are your thoughts? What is missing from this list?

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