Is an internal auditor a bothersome or annoying person? Does the internal auditor enjoy stepping on peoples’ toes so that they can experience a lot of pain? Is the auditor’s work just to catch people doing wrong things? For sure an internal auditor has been called all sorts of names which imply staff in various organisations are not comfortable with work done by the internal auditors.
Despite the perception of uncomfortable environment which the internal auditor creates within an organisation, the internal auditor’s importance to the organisation has been recognised both locally and globally. The work of an internal auditor has lauded as providing independent assurance that an organisation’s risk management, governance and internal control processes are operating effectively. The effectiveness in the internal auditors work has led to the following happening;
- Management will develop the habit of doing the right things
- The quality financial performance reports will be produced on time
- The external auditors will rely on the internal auditors reports
What needs to be done to make an internal auditor acceptable?
The role of an internal auditor
The positive role of an auditor of providing independent assurance should be made clear to everyone in the organisation. I am sure you feel comfortable when someone gives feedback on how you are doing. In case of head-ups you are in position of taking timely corrective action.
Part of the team
The internal auditor is part of the team to deliver the mission of the organisation. For the team to win everyone in the team must do the right things. The internal auditor continuously gives the assurance. Obviously some people are happy when they told that they letting the team down.
Auditor should engage the auditees
The internal must engage his or her clients (auditees) to ensure they appreciate his or her role and the resulting benefits. Somehow the internal auditor has to perform to the satisfaction of the clients in the long run. The internal auditor may not always achieve the clients satisfaction in the short run because of negativity on the issues raised.
Mechanism must be in place to resolve the disputes in the auditee and the auditor fail to agree on the findings.
Should be an advisor
The internal auditor should be readily available to advise the staff of the treatment of certain transactions. The auditor should be prepared to play an advisory role to management in areas of risk management , governance and control environment .
John Muhaise Bikalemesa
Director: Big Drum Advisory Services Limited