Last month, shouts of joy and jubilation burst forth from the internal audit world when it was announced that Auditorman would be returning, once again bringing his unique brand of oversight, control, and rigorous review methodologies to defend us against the vicissitudes of audit evil. Yes, Auditorman is returning with new adventures, a new sidekick, and new supervillains.
"What?" you might exclaim. "New supervillains? How can any nemeses compare with such favorites as The Pencil Pusher, The Wounding Bayonet, The Paper Cut, and The Unreconciled Columnar Pad?"
While it is true that Auditorman battled a robust and exciting group of villains in the past, many have outlived their time, and their antiquated approaches do not strike the same note of fear they once did. With that in mind, they will be relegated to the Home for Carbon Paper, Dictaphones, In-Person Meetings, and Other Outdated Notions of Evil.
So, a rebooted superhero needs supervillains that can match his rebooted wonderfulness. Plumbing the depths of internal audit's seamy side – the areas that strike fear, awe, and queasiness in every internal auditor's heart – a new slate of reprobates who flaunt risk, ignore controls, and generally cause ineffective and inefficient procedures have been discovered. This group is just plain out of control.
Here's what you can expect to see when Auditorman returns.
The Meeting Maker
A master of disguise, the Meeting Maker spreads his particular brand of mayhem with myriad manifestations that muddle and mislead all he meets. Sometimes in the guise of an executive, sometimes in the guise of a manager, and sometimes in the guise of the most powerful person within any organization – the executive assistant – the Meeting Maker is there to sap the hardworking auditors' time and motivation. It starts innocently enough with an invitation to a seemingly important meeting. However, the Meeting Maker is soon sucking his victims into task forces and committees and (gasp) budget discussions that go on for hours with no purpose, no objective, and no end in sight. Meeting after meeting goes on with the participants rehashing what has been said before, reviewing old items, adding new items, and then agreeing that the one thing the committee needs in order to be successful is more meetings.
Buried deep within the bowels of the building he is waiting. Everything you have ever heard, everything you have ever said, everything you have ever done is within his grasp. But this twisted graduate of an unholy university does more than control the records; he uses his knowledge to falsify information. Yes, Doc Humantation is at the source of every phony payroll, phantom vendor, and non-existent payee scheme that has ever existed.
The Trackless Talker
The Trackless Talker greets auditors with a hearty handshake, a welcoming smile, and communicative conversation. But, what seems to be a cooperative auditee will reveal himself to be a detriment, a time waster, and a bore. The Trackless Talker starts by answering all questions. But each answer leads to a story. And every story leads to an anecdote. And every anecdote leads to discussions of such banal and mundane content that the auditor soon finds himself lost in a miasma of misinformation, swooning under the weight of meaningless data; wasted hours, days, and weeks; and wastefully following up on useless loose ends. One warning: Never ask about his family.
It seems many of the worst villains Auditorman will face are those that appear to be friends – individuals who hide behind the curtain of cooperation when they really fly the cape of encumbrance. Captain Conclusion is one of the worst. He is always there with helpful tips on how a conclusion might be reached. But those conclusions are flawed. With no contemplation of the impact, his attempt to quickly reach conclusions only shows how little respect he has for the accuracy of those conclusions. And it is impossible to tell which way he will turn. One minute he is calling an ineffective audit effective, the next he calls a low impact finding high, and then he will determine that no conclusions can be reached and it should all be reclassified as an advisory engagement. No opinion is safe, no finding is secure, and no cause is based on actual audit work. Perhaps worst of all, research has shown that Captain Conclusion has lied about his rank; he is actually Corporal Conclusion
The Report Rewriter
There is a darkness buried deep within internal audit. A nefarious no-gooder who disguises himself as one of our own. In actuality, he has insidiously infiltrated our ranks with the intent of ensuring that, no matter how good the work, no matter how profound the findings, no matter how important the information is to the success of the organization, it will never get out of the department. He is the Report Rewriter. Worming his way into every audit, he claims he wants to make the department more professional. But no report is quite good enough, no memo is unblemished, no power point presentation is perfectly polished. Hidden in the cloak of professionalism, the Report Rewriter is the evil onbringer of delay. It should be noted that Grammar Girl has a particular weakness for this monster.
Impressive, aren't they? And this list does not even include such formidable adversaries as Mal Worm, The Ex-Auditors, and The Documentrix.
Yes the reboot of Auditorman will have everything any audit professional could want – excitement (but not too much excitement), mind-numbing details, and a slavish adherence to the standards of good entertainment.
Watch the skies for.....The New Adventures of Auditorman. (Pending PIC Committee approval.)