Mr. Auditing's Neighborhood

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Hello, boys and girls, and welcome to Mr. Auditing’s Neighborhood. Did you have a nice day today? I bet you did. Did you remember to tell all your friends about the wonderful things you learned about internal audit? I’ll bet you did. And did everyone look at you a little funny and back away slowly? I’ll bet they did. Don’t worry. Some day you’ll be doing audits and writing reports about how ineffective their operations are, and they’ll all wish they had been nicer to you. 

So, today we’re going to be talking about how risks become audits. Do you remember when we talked about risks? I bet you do. Risks are those nasty things that can cause all kinds of bad things to happen to your company. But, sometimes, risks can be a good thing. Isn’t that funny? ‘Cause, if you don’t take some risks, then nothing ever happens. Can you say "bankruptcy"? That’s a fun word, isn’t it?

It’s kind of like, if you hide in your bed, then the closet monsters can’t get you. (By the way, hiding in your bed is a good control – a preventative control. Can you say “preventative control”? I like the way you say that.) But if you hide in your bed all the time, then you don’t get breakfast or toys or cookies or anything fun. So, you have to take a risk and climb out from under your covers in the morning. Then your Mommy or Daddy can give you lots of eggs and bacon and sausage, which will probably cause you to have a heart attack when you’re 53, which seems an awfully long way away, but take it from me, it can sneak up on you fast, and the next thing you know you’re eating oatmeal without any sugar and drinking decaffeinated coffee, which you drink and think, “Well what’s the point in that?” and work sends your stress levels and blood pressure up and…

But I digress. Can you say “digress"? I like the way you say that.

So, there are lots of ways audits get on your schedule. Sometimes you have to do audits because the government says you have to. They make up all these funny regulations, and the next thing you know, all your auditing time is spent making sure your company is doing all the things the government insists on, and there’s no time to actually look at processes and risks because the government wants to make sure the bad guys don’t do anything bad, but the economy goes into the potty anyway. Can you say Sarbanes/Oxley? Can you say Sarbox? Can you say Sox? Those words all mean the same thing. Isn’t that funny?

But the best way to come up with an audit is by figuring out the risks. Unfortunately, we’ve spent so much time talking about what the government makes us do that we don’t have time for how other audits can get on the schedule. I think there’s a moral there somewhere, boys and girls. 

So, until we meet again, remember: You make each audit a special audit, by just being the best darn auditor you can be. And people might like you anyway. At least you can hope.

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