Internal Audit Conference - Time for the Mouse to Roar
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INTERNAL AUDIT CONFERENCE– TIME FOR THE MOUSE TO ROAR
Has Internal Audit lost its mojo? Are we making sure we are heard about those threats that can destroy the organisation, as much as we used to? Are we shouting loud enough? It makes you wonder when you consider the major corporate scandals over recent years and the immense damage they’ve caused. We only have to think for a second to come up with the astonishing and on-going damage done by the banks to the world economy, the scale of the environmental damage caused by the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster, the care home scandals and the Olympus accounting fraud.
We believe that Internal Audit must step out of Risk Management’s shadow. It’s time to step up and ‘speak truth to power’ about those tricky and highly political subjects that are often at the root of organisational failure.
To do this, Internal Audit must be outstanding, but what does this look like and how do we get there?
THE KEY FEATURES:
Today’s conference aims to explore what in 2013 makes an Internal Audit department truly outstanding, what gets in the way and how we can overcome it. In particular, we will challenge you to step out of the box that Internal Audit has made a comfortable home in.
THE SESSION DETAILS:
What Position is Best?
Bearing in mind our remit for an independent and objective view on the effectiveness of the management of risk, who should Internal Audit report to? Who should we have access to and what do we have a right to audit? What makes an effective and credible Chief Audit Executive and is it time for the trend to appoint non-auditors in this role to be reversed? The FSA has long stressed the importance of the role of Internal Audit as part of the effective governance of an organisation. In addition, The Chartered Institute of Internal Auditors has announced internal auditors are to have a new code for best practice, enabling more accurate assessment of risk management, with a view to being the eyes and ears of a company’s board. We will look at the latest thinking in this area and whether it’s time for the ‘fudges’ that have existed in the past to change.
Get What You Want, Get What You need
Every experienced auditor knows that Executive Management generally want you to give them assurance over what the people that work for them do, not to review what they themselves do. But if they get what they want, will they be getting what they need? Corporate failures have shown that the root causes of failure often sit right at the top of organisational decision making. Are a hundred audits of risks, processes and systems worth doing if audits aren’t undertaken on Corporate Strategy, Corporate Governance, Culture & Ethics and Executive Pay? Should we audit to the company’s risk appetite, or should we challenge it if we believe it is misaligned with corporate goals and ethics? And if we should do these things, then why don’t we and how can we change this?
You Are Only as Good as Your Team
What are the top skills that an outstanding audit team need? We can all name the obvious: influencing, dealing with conflict, effective communication, relationship management, analytical skills, and many more. But how much attention do we pay to the one that should be at the top of the list, namely the ability to think independently? How do we create a culture in Internal Audit that embraces this skill and uses it to best effect? And then there’s the knowledge we need, not just about internal audit and risk management, but about each and every significant risk the organisation faces. Do we try to be a jack of all trades, or do we bring in masters of some? And how do we recruit, retain, train, motivate, quality control and empower those with the range of skills and knowledge that we need? And for the largest audit teams, how do we get everyone facing in the same direction and working together?
Speaking Truth to Power
How should we go about influencing at the top table? An outstanding Internal Audit team doesn’t just report concerns; it influences executive management to bring about material change. Are routine meetings with the Chief Executive and Audit Committee enough? Should we think outside the box and take a different approach to influencing those at the top table and not rely so heavily on boring quarterly reports written in boiler plate language? Should we seek alliances with the likes of Compliance and Risk Management, or should we stand alone? And what’s the best way to tell the emperor that he’s not actually wearing a nice gold suit…?
Does Internal Audit try too hard to stay in the background and does this mean we don’t get heard when we’ve got something important to say? And what do we do about those misconceptions about our role; that we’re there to simply check compliance with controls, that we don’t audit the risks sitting at the very top of the organisation, and that we only look at risks with a negative outcome. Add to this that lots of managers now seem confused about the differences between Internal Audit, Risk Management and Compliance and it’s no wonder that we often don’t feel valued or wanted. So how do we go about promoting Internal Audit, selling what our role is, how we make a positive contribution to the organisation and how we HAVE added value? We will suggest some ways to go about this and to start changing perceptions.
£185 (book two or more places and pay £165 per delegate saving £20 per delegate)
ACCA Students: £165
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