Left Unsaid

We start our annual review of the musings of the Global President and CEO Richard Chambers 2016 blogs with two observations.

Firstly we want to make it abundantly clear that those passionate about internal audit (and perhaps even those that are not) are much the better off for Chambers taking the time to commit to writing his personal reflections based on his 40 years of experience in the internal audit profession.  We, for one, are regular readers of his posts and find them very thoughtful and helpful.  

Our sincere wish is that more people would take the time for the benefit of all.

Secondly our critique is not a criticism of the body of work.  If someone were to do the same on our humble thoughts (actually we have!) it will equally show up focuses on some areas and not others.

So with that in mind and our usual caveat that Chambers’ blogs are clearly marked as his personal views and they may not represent the views of the IIA.  Having said that the blogs have a prominent place on the IIA webpage.

So in the 37,140 words what was it that we would have liked to see more of?

So as to remain as dispassionate as possible the areas of focus we are adopting this year are geography, technology and talent.

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In terms of geography we based our review on how often the G20 countries were mentioned as a proxy as to the global nature of the content. 

The members of the G20 – those countries that represent more than 80% of world trade – are: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States, and the European Union.

The geographies that are mentioned in the content are primarily the US, the UK and the EU.  

For a global organisation such as the IIA we would be very interested to hear of the assurance challenges in other jurisdictions.  

Are there things that are globally relevant or are their regional issues / concerns / opportunities that exist?

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We have always liked the phrase “auditing at the speed of risk” and never is this more important than in the technology space.  

So it is with that in mind we have called out – before we analyse the content – three key technology themes that we wanted to see how they are being covered; being disruption; automation and augmented and virtual reality.

Disruption is addressed but more so in the context of business interruption rather than the disruptive effects that technology can have on an organisational risk profile or (dare we say it!) on internal audit.

Automation, augmented and virtual reality are not addressed.

Our challenge for all those that read Chambers words is to consider how these three current (for they are no longer emerging) trends impact on the profession.

We suspect – perhaps fear is the more accurate word for we are not sure any of us are properly prepared for it – that in the near future we will all need to consider the impact of technology disruption, automation and enhanced reality on our profession.

And if we are to be honest with ourselves any guidance on this meandering road would be well received.

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Finally we looked at talent.  The investment in talent management is covered.

What we would like to see more of is the showcasing of the world of internal audit’s greatest talent.  

Not those that are good at self promotion but those that have or will fundamentally impact how internal audit is executed.  

We would love to hear more about the founders of modern internal audit and how their work plays out today.  

We would love to hear about that brave auditor in a small town in a challenged jurisdiction that has decided that they are going to live out the ideals that make a great auditor.  

The IIA has the many pages of institutional history and the global membership reach to be able to find and tell those stories.

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We finish our annual review with a challenge.  

A measure of a great profession is one that has a broad church of opinion debated vigorously and with due respect. 

Lets all decide to intellectually engage each other for the overall betterment of the profession.

Lets not just leave it to the Richards of our profession to push our boundaries of understanding and wisdom.

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