Think of internal audit (IA) and what comes to mind?
A critical judge nit-picking on your processes? A necessary evil to be over and done with quickly? Or the sinking feeling of trouble? These can evolve into cleverly devised attempts to hide our skeletons in the closet. Or a downward spiral like a little mouse being chased by a cat. The results? Lost time. Broken trust. Ditched innovation.
What Is The Alternative?
Strengthening collaboration and trust between audit and internal clients, where internal clients feel comfortable approaching IA for support and guidance to address their concerns. This allows IA to gain a deeper understanding of underlying issues and work with clients to find mutually beneficial or even innovative solutions.
Is That Possible?
This happens when Internal Audit changes its approach. The traditional mindset of Internal Audit, which focuses on compliance-based assessments and detecting errors, is shifting to a more collaborative and consultative approach.
Ming, head of the internal audit department, expresses,
“We all want to do meaningful work and be contributors.”
What Do We Do Differently?
Inviting clients to share their concerns, listening to and understanding their challenges, and working together to find solutions to the root cause of issues. The new way of working involves a more relational approach, with an emphasis on being authentic, transparent, and building trust. “The goal is for internal stakeholders to feel comfortable and confident that Internal Audit is there to help, not to judge or catch them,” quips Ming.
“The goal is for internal stakeholders to feel comfortable and confident that Internal Audit is there to help, not to judge or catch them,”
However, there is still work to be done, as some people still have the traditional mindset. Ming asks, “How can we help our officers listen better or understand better? In the heat of the moment, we stop listening, we are still human beings and we get attached to the findings.”
The core values of Flawless Consulting are to be authentic and compassionate. Empathize with one another, connect to their concerns and brainstorm together to solve problems. We don’t over-react, surprise or ambush, and this involves the self-awareness and cultivation of the consultant.
Case Study: Auditor as Trusted Advisor | Flawless Consulting
Flame Centre | Future Skills Institute
If you're curious about:
How to build trust with clients and let them know IA is here to help and add value
How to diagnose the underlying issues in your auditees to generate effective recommendations
How to develop collaboration so you can spread best practices gleaned from audits across the organization