Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Audit Trends

Kip Memmott, our director of Internal Audit here at the Denver Auditor’s Office, proves the truth of what Will Rogers opined so many years ago: “Even if you’re on the right track you’ll get run over if you just sit there.” Kip recently attended the Institute of Internal Auditor’s General Audit Management conference. Kip has never been one to just sit there.

Kip reported back to us that national trends show that auditors are now expected to perform more work in areas of enterprise risk management, effective governance, resource maximization and strategic planning. Speakers reported that audit work is less counting widgets and ensuring compliance. I wonder whatever happened to my green eyeshade.

Auditors now must understand the business side of operations to be truly effective and add value to audits. I am pleased to tell you that these are true of the performance audits we do in Denver.

Kip shared that internal audit functions are ideally positioned to lead organization culture change Chief Audit Executives should proactively raise organizational expectations for the internal audit function and then deliver. I often say, I am interested in bringing long term systemic change to the city of Denver, not just a series of audits which contain ‘gotchas.’

There is a movement nationally toward integrated auditing where auditors are expected to have financial, performance and IT audit skills. The Denver Auditor’s office has a whole team of auditors who are expert at auditing and analyzing IT needs. The value of that team is demonstrable to all who have contact with our IT auditors.

Effective audit risk assessment and root cause analysis practices are critical for adding value. And the more our auditors here in the Denver Auditor’s Office do their excellent performance audits the more city agencies, the city council and even reluctant administrators see value in those audits.

Audit functions trends show that those functions should automate internal processes, perform issue tracking and implement data analytic tools and techniques. We are totally green in our audits. All our audit papers are now retained digitally. We are saving thousands of trees, and saving lots of money.

Audit reports should be widely distributed. We do this digitally and some printed copies placed around the city.

Finally, perhaps the most important point discussed at the conference is audit independence. And I vow to you we will maintain, protect and defend the professional independences of our audits and the same is true for our city’s audit committee.

Kip shared with us that our office is conceptually aligned with all the thematic areas from a strategic perspective. I wish to thank Kip Memmott for helping me move our office with vision and hope forward in all the above areas. The Denver taxpayers are the winners in this effort.

No comments: