barcode printing in vb.net 1: Building an Effective Internal IT Audit Function in Software

Printing QR-Code in Software 1: Building an Effective Internal IT Audit Function

1: Building an Effective Internal IT Audit Function
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Earlier in this chapter, you learned about the informal audit, which is something less than a formal audit but provides an organization with good input on the state of their internal controls The self-assessment exercise is something less than an informal audit, in that it provides absolutely no independent validation of the controls in the environment, but it also can be a useful vehicle for promoting controls Once again, a knowledgeable and experienced auditor is critical for making this tool work PART I
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There are many methods of reviewing and promoting internal controls at a company in addition to formal audits Of course, one of your challenges will be getting company management and the audit committee to approve use of your resources in this way They may be resistant to using resources for anything except formal audits Your best bet is to get the focus away from counting how many audit reports are issued and toward looking at how the department is helping to improve internal controls at the company If you convince management to let you try it, even on a test basis, the results will speak for themselves You may need to put some extra reporting in place, at least at first, so you can report on how you re using your audit resources (for example, the number of projects on which you ve consulted, how your involvement resulted in strengthened controls, and so on) Vocal support from the IT organization also helps If IT is supportive of and is making adjustments based on your work and if they are willing to communicate that fact to senior management, you ll have an easier time building a sustainable program NOTE If the audit department focuses solely on formal audits, it severely limits its coverage and ability to fulfill its mission successfully
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Relationship Building: Partnering vs Policing
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If your mission is to promote and improve the state of internal controls at the company, then the more informed you are about what s going on, the more effective you ll be as an auditor Unfortunately, too many companies take the approach of doing drive-by audits They decide what they want to audit with little input from management They decide when they want to perform the audit and inform those who will be audited, sometimes with very little advance notice They then swoop in, perform the audit, throw the issues over the wall to be fixed, tell senior management how screwed up the area is, and disappear They are seen again only when they are beating people up for not addressing the issues by the due dates (which are often dictated by the auditors) Audits conducted in this way are painful and unpleasant experiences; people just want to get it over with They re likely to take the just answer their questions and don t volunteer any information approach After the auditors leave, the people they have been auditing laugh about all the big, gaping internal control holes that the auditor missed Was that audit effective Absolutely not It was an adversarial exercise in which the auditors had to fight their way through to the end, usually missing important issues
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IT Auditing: Using Controls to Protect Information Assets, Second Edition
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NOTE An effective internal audit department considers the audit to be a partnership with fellow employees and not a policing function An effective audit department is involved year-round with key functions and does not just swoop in and out when performing audits The audit should be an occasional event in an ongoing relationship By combining your internal controls expertise with the auditee s expertise in their business and day-to-day operations, together you can best determine what risks need to be addressed When you are successful in this area, the people you are auditing begin volunteering information about potential audit issues They go beyond just answering the questions you ve posed and brainstorm with you regarding potential exposures You have credibility, and when you raise potential issues, their first reaction is not to fight you on them but instead to accept them and try to understand the reasons behind your concern At the end of an audit, the people you ve been auditing should look back and realize that it was a helpful experience and was not unpleasant Of course, exceptions will occur On rare occasions, auditees will be uninterested and unwilling to implement the internal controls necessary for their area Conflicts should be rare if the auditors know what they re doing and bring a customer-oriented approach to the job Advocating positive relationships does not abdicate the auditor of his or her responsibility to be objective The auditors must bring healthy skepticism to the job, and this can be done in a negative or positive way You can imply that you don t trust the auditee and make him or her verify everything, setting up the relationship as a defensive one Or you can bring an attitude to the table that implies trust: I believe what you re saying, but the standards of my profession require me to validate it independently can you help me get access to the information I need to do so Very few people will be offended or defensive about the latter approach (unless, of course, they re among the small percentage of truly dishonest employees) NOTE Relationships will make or break the audit department s ability to add value to the company Adversarial relationships get in the way of the core objective of the audit department It is the responsibility of the audit department to do everything it can to minimize those negative relationships and foster positive ones If you don t have good relationships, you won t have credibility and you won t be effective
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