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Book Reviews

Book Review: People-centric Skills

Author: Danny M. Goldenberg and Manny Rosenfeld | Reviewed Ibe Etea, CISA, CRISC, CA, CFE, CIA, CRMA
Date Published: 1, January 2016
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People-centric Skills: Interpersonal and Communication Skills for Auditors and Business Professionals by Danny M. Goldenberg and Manny Rosenfeld, both seasoned professionals in the audit and assurance fields, takes the concept of audit soft skills to a completely new level. This book is written as an intriguing tale about the lives of a fictional audit team, their daily client interactions and their aspirations to grow into an excellent audit team. The authors highlight the work ethic, techniques and skill sets required of a high-performing, modern-day audit team. The book elaborates on the personal interactions, relationship development practices and communication skills required for an audit leader in contemporary times. The book delivers this information in an easy, leisurely read. As most auditors do not acquire these soft skills via academic degrees, professional certifications and other ongoing training, this dynamic novel achieves the admirable feat of delivering this training in an engaging manner.

The book uses a fictional narrative that provides information on the how and why of implementing best-practice communication and relationship-enhancing skills. It sets a baseline of effective communication and behavioral skills for client- and team-based meetings, conferences and day-to-day engagements. Readers will be able to identify with the characters and relate to the real-life situations in which they find themselves. Each chapter features a summary of key skills, procedures and techniques that will help readers apply what they have learned to their own projects and departments.

It offers a glimpse into the personal and professional challenges that high-performing audit teams have to face in their engagement routines. It offers analogies of professional soft skills essential for value-added audit execution, risk assessments, audit reporting, engagement team meetings and client follow-up. It highlights the importance of communication as a core skill of the auditor, and it details the essential leadership and interpersonal skill sets required for effective teamwork. The people-oriented approach of the book provides suspense and piques the reader’s interest in a way that a textbook or pure reference title could not.

Reviewed by Ibe Etea, CISA, CRISC, CA, CFE, CIA, CRMA, a corporate governance, internal controls, fraud and enterprise risk assurance professional. Etea also serves as a member on the advisory council of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE).