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Audit (&Risk) Function as Business Partner, Not Enemy

I believe many young professionals here, especially who work in Audit function, already experienced many different responses or reactions from other colleagues who we audited. Some might showed positive responses, but most of the time (of course based on personal experience) the other way around. Not uncommon even some organizations put Audit Results as KPIs determining their bonus.

When it comes to make Audit and Risk function as business partner, and not enemy who become showstopper for organization's growth and innovation, how do you convince these organization? How do engage with them and show them that you are there as their partner? How do you sell them your added values (and convince not only "consultants" bring values)?
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RE: Audit (&Risk) Function as Business Partner, Not Enemy

@Ferry Haris - You have touched on a very important topic that is very challenging for many of us.
 
It is really difficult to show a client/organization that we, as auditors, can be on their side, despite it being our job to find flaws in their processes, infrastructure, etc.  Just like with anything else, it seems like we need to adapt to the situation as the same approach that works for one organization will not work for another.  I think it is important to develop a report/good relationship with senior management or the key stakeholder that the audit findings must be delivered to in the end.  That may help soften the blow of any negative findings that could be problematic for the organization.  I think effectively communicating recommendations and benefits of resolving weaknesses/audit findings before they are exploited or the organization incurs (more) fines for lack of regulatory compliance can be ways to demonstrate value. 

Additionally, effective communication with the employees you'll interact with regularly to obtain documentation, evidence, etc is beneficial to everyone.  Conducting yourself in a friendly manner, explaining why things are being done and what the positive outcomes can be may put the employee at ease a bit more, or further their understanding of why the audit is taking place and what needs to be done, how it effects them (both positively and negatively).  Conversely, conducting oneself in an adversarial manner can push people away or make them fell alienated and they will perceive you as the enemy. 

It is a tough balancing act (in my opinion).  Anyone else have ideas?  What I listed above are just some suggests and may not always work.
JasonYInfluential at 10/2/2012 6:45:47 AM Quote
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(Unrated)

RE: Audit (&Risk) Function as Business Partner, Not Enemy

@Ferry Haris - You have touched on a very important topic that is very challenging for many of us.
 
It is really difficult to show a client/organization that we, as auditors, can be on their side, despite it being our job to find flaws in their processes, infrastructure, etc.  Just like with anything else, it seems like we need to adapt to the situation as the same approach that works for one organization will not work for another.  I think it is important to develop a report/good relationship with senior management or the key stakeholder that the audit findings must be delivered to in the end.  That may help soften the blow of any negative findings that could be problematic for the organization.  I think effectively communicating recommendations and benefits of resolving weaknesses/audit findings before they are exploited or the organization incurs (more) fines for lack of regulatory compliance can be ways to demonstrate value. 

Additionally, effective communication with the employees you'll interact with regularly to obtain documentation, evidence, etc is beneficial to everyone.  Conducting yourself in a friendly manner, explaining why things are being done and what the positive outcomes can be may put the employee at ease a bit more, or further their understanding of why the audit is taking place and what needs to be done, how it effects them (both positively and negatively).  Conversely, conducting oneself in an adversarial manner can push people away or make them fell alienated and they will perceive you as the enemy. 

It is a tough balancing act (in my opinion).  Anyone else have ideas?  What I listed above are just some suggests and may not always work.
JasonYInfluential at 10/2/2012 6:45:47 AM Quote
You must sign in to rate content.
(Unrated)

RE: Audit (&Risk) Function as Business Partner, Not Enemy

@Ferry Haris - You have touched on a very important topic that is very challenging for many of us.
 
It is really difficult to show a client/organization that we, as auditors, can be on their side, despite it being our job to find flaws in their processes, infrastructure, etc.  Just like with anything else, it seems like we need to adapt to the situation as the same approach that works for one organization will not work for another.  I think it is important to develop a report/good relationship with senior management or the key stakeholder that the audit findings must be delivered to in the end.  That may help soften the blow of any negative findings that could be problematic for the organization.  I think effectively communicating recommendations and benefits of resolving weaknesses/audit findings before they are exploited or the organization incurs (more) fines for lack of regulatory compliance can be ways to demonstrate value. 

Additionally, effective communication with the employees you'll interact with regularly to obtain documentation, evidence, etc is beneficial to everyone.  Conducting yourself in a friendly manner, explaining why things are being done and what the positive outcomes can be may put the employee at ease a bit more, or further their understanding of why the audit is taking place and what needs to be done, how it effects them (both positively and negatively).  Conversely, conducting oneself in an adversarial manner can push people away or make them fell alienated and they will perceive you as the enemy. 

It is a tough balancing act (in my opinion).  Anyone else have ideas?  What I listed above are just some suggests and may not always work.
JasonYInfluential at 10/2/2012 6:45:47 AM Quote
You must sign in to rate content.
(Unrated)

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