At the Phoenix Auditing Roundtable meeting earlier this month, one internal auditor described her company’s “One Audit” concept. It is a comprehensive audit that includes EHS, finance and IT auditors in ONE team. Instead of having three or four different audit teams auditing specific functions of the company, a large team shows up at one time and does it all.
The main rationale cited at the presentation was that senior management was tired of having to spend time with 4 separate teams and preferred to spend time with just one large team at one time.
This rationale begs the question: Is the internal auditing process being modified for the convenience of senior management? Or should it be done to uncover issues that need to be addressed regardless of the “inconvenience” that it impose on management?
A similar sentiment came up in another session (my session) when the question was posed to the audience of auditors: Should you be hiring the same external auditor year after year? Or should you be hiring new external auditors very few years to get a fresh set of eyes?
Many internal auditors were adamant that the same external auditors be hired because these auditors know the company’s process and procedures and would ask fewer questions and therefore take up less time of management.
Setting aside the adage “familiarity breeds contempt”, does this mindset of “not inconveniencing management” really serve the company well?