Question

stion1:As the human resource manager of Cherina Company Ltd taskedby management to conduct an HR Audit...

stion1:As the human resource manager of Cherina Company Ltd taskedby management to conduct an HR Audit of the organizations training and development processes, you think it is important to select an audit champion to aid with the whole process. However, management thinks otherwise. You are therefore requiredto explicate to management who an audit champion is, what his or her roles are and what qualities you would be looking for in the champion(discuss at least six of such roles and six qualities).

Homework Answers

Answer #1

Roles and Qualities of Audit Champion

Auditors are specialists who review the accounts of companies and organisations to ensure the validity and legality of their financial records. They can also act in an advisory role to recommend possible risk aversion measures and cost savings that could be made.

Auditors work in the accounting departments of a huge range of firms and with independent chartered and certified firms, examining the money going in and out of organisations and making sure it is recorded and processed correctly.

Auditors assess local and central government departments with the aim of improving efficiency and effectiveness.

Qualities of an Audit Champion:

1. They have good leadership skills

2. They don't get self-conscious

3. They're persistent

4. They're good with technology

5. They're good at building relationships

6. They're always learning

7. They understand data

8. They're creative

9. They're diplomatic

1. They have good leadership skills:

Internal auditors need to be able to analyse, advise and influence behaviour from the highest levels of the organisation. It follows then that the best internal auditors are able to lead others.

This means they are good at listening and speak the language of the board.

  2. They don't get self-conscious :

Auditors need to be objective. When something doesn't look right, objectivity enables them to ask tough questions, notify management, and work through the issue in accordance with professional standards.

The best internal auditors aren't phased by the Highest Paid Person's Opinion. Highest Paid Person's Opinion, a phenomenon whereby some people will agree with whoever is the highest paid person in the room, because it’s uncomfortable to challenge them. The best internal auditors have the self confidence to comment and challenge the status quo. They know they are paid to have an opinion on matters.

3. They're persistent:

Most auditors raise an audit findings report, detail some recommendations, then leave it there.

The best internal auditors know that it takes 21 days to make something a habit. They know it takes time, energy and commitment to make the required changes.

  4. They're good with technology:

It takes on average 67% more time to do an audit manually. Auditors not embracing technology spend two thirds more time planning, scheduling, writing up actions and sending out reports than those embracing auditing technology.

The best auditors spend their time thinking about strategy, because the auditing software tools are embedded throughout the organisation.

5. They're good at building relationships:

The best internal auditors are able to engage and influence stakeholders throughout the organisation. This isn't easy.

Most internal auditors will need to deal with different attitudes towards compliance and quality management. A recent report mapped stakeholder attitudes into groups.

  • 75- 80% best endeavours at heart. They will do what they can to help the organisation achieve it's goals.
  • 15 – 20% are compliance champions. These personalities are often dubbed the “concrete layer” within the organisation. Usually dominant characters, these stakeholders are a risk for internal auditors because want a "command and control" environment. The message is "Just tell me what you want me to do." This leaves them blind to issues. The best internal auditors have strategies to deal with this concrete layer in the organisation.  
  • 1 – 5% are not band by the rules. These personalities know better but deliberately go ahead anyway. The best internal auditors are able to engage this attitude.

6. They're always learning:

Whether they're learning about the revised management system auditing standard or networking at IRCA events, the most successful internal auditors are constantly reviewing the latest best practices to upgrade their skills.

7. They use Big Data :

Let's face it, often there is so much which needs improving that it can feel very overwhelming for internal auditors to know where to start.

The best internal auditors take a risk-based approach to prioritise their workload. They use Big Data to know where to focus and avoid time-sapping tedious changes.

8. They're creative :

Internal auditing is essentially problem solving. The best problem solvers are creative - they know that it's not always a yes or no answer. There are shades of grey that needs to be understood. It's about asking the right questions in the right way.

9. They're diplomatic :

We've said already that internal auditors often need to deal with challenging, complex issues. This can be about business ethics whistleblowing. Approaching these subjects successfully requires high levels of diplomacy.

Role of an Audit Champion

· Making available to management tools and techniques used by internal auditing to analyse risks and controls.

· Being a champion for introducing Enterprise-wide Risk Management into the organization, leveraging its expertise in risk management and control and its overall knowledge of the organization.

· Providing advice, facilitating workshops, coaching the organization on risk and control and promoting the development of a common language, framework and understanding.

· Acting as the central point for coordinating, monitoring and reporting on risks.

· Supporting managers as they work to identify the best way to mitigate a risk.

· Testing of internal controls includes making inquiries to management and employees, inspecting source documents, observing inventory counts, and actually re-performing client procedures.

· Finally, the auditor will perform more substantive procedures to assess the level of overall risk according to the audit strategy.

Duties of an Auditor:

· Collating, checking and analysing spreadsheet data

· Examining company accounts and financial control systems

· Gauging levels of financial risk within organisations

· Checking that financial reports and records are accurate and reliable

· Ensuring that assets are safeguarded

· Identifying if and where processes are not working as they should and advising on changes to be made

· Preparing reports, commentaries and financial statements

· Liaising with managerial staff and presenting findings and recommendations

· Ensuring procedures, policies, legislation and regulations are correctly followed and complied with

· Undertaking reviews of wages.

Key skills for auditor:

· Self-motivation, determination and confidence

· Ability to divide your time between work and study

· Meticulous attention to detail

· A strong aptitude for maths

· Excellent problem-solving skills

· A keen interest in the financial system

· Ability to work to deadlines, under pressure

· Ability to work on your own initiative and as part of a team

· Strong IT skills

· Excellent interpersonal and communication skills, including good presentation and report writing skills

Conclusion:

Internal auditor’s core role in relation to Enterprise-wide Risk Management should be to provide assurance to management and to the board on the effectiveness of risk management. When internal auditing extends its activities beyond this core role, it should apply certain safeguards, including treating the engagements as consulting services and, therefore, applying all relevant Standards. In this way, internal auditing will protect its independence and the objectivity of its assurance services.

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