In this feature article, communications expert Jill Schiefelbein provides internal auditors with three simple, important rules to help you communicate in a way that will position you as a more confident communicator within the business.
It’s easy to overlook your own grammar errors. But you’ll be a better writer if you become mindful of your writing and correct your own editing mistakes. Here are five common editing mistakes we all make or might have questions about. Maybe a couple will resonate with you.
The work of internal auditors and compliance professionals is complex, challenging and often, unfortunately, under-appreciated by their clients. What makes matters even more stressful for these professionals is that their managers sometimes micro-manage them.
Performance auditing is the review of a program or process, and the systems supporting it, to determine whether it is achieving the primary goals of efficiency, effectiveness, and economy in its use of available resources. These reviews are often done in government and non-profit entities, but they are equally important in the for-profit sector.
Internal auditing is a complex field of work that is undergoing significant changes. Today's internal auditors are tasked with managing their careers, so they remain relevant in the short and longer terms. Given this complex environment, it is not surprising that mentoring and coaching have emerged as essential tools to help auditors grow professionally.
Transitions are those juicy, bite-size gourmet words that connect ideas, sentences, paragraphs, and even sections. Too often, we can misuse, overuse, or omit transitions. This article covers how to use transitions to improve clarity in your reports.
Last month in an article about setting the stage for better decision-making we learned about four elements that you should be considering before you even form the words you want to say. This month it’s all about the messaging.
One of the most overlooked, but essential, elements of the persuasive process is establishing a definite need in your to-be-persuaded-audience’s mind. In other words, how does the client know that they need what you have to offer? Here, we explore the topic.
There are some common communication mistakes that junior auditors make. Lucky for you, this article is going to point these foibles out and show you how you can change the trajectory of your communication to show confidence, not self-consciousness.
If you work for a global company, chances are your documents are undergoing some sort of language translation – from English to other languages or vice versa. But even if your company doesn’t do any translations, learning how to write for translation can improve your skills as a writer and create sharper audit reports.
As fraud investigations get folded into the internal audit department, some audit shops are tempted to frame a fraud report in the same format and tone as the audit report. The idea couldn’t be more wrong. Read on for ways to present a full and succinct fraud investigation report using report design, content, and tone.
Every company has a different way to communicate and a different report format to use. Well, there is no best way – each format has its pros and cons and you have to weigh the benefits of each format for your audience.
Most advice people have regarding decision making is along the line of, “weigh your options”, “get outside advice from a trusted source”, or “look at the cost-benefit or ROI”. That advice is fine and dandy, but it ignores one key fact: If the stage on which the decision is made isn’t set appropriately, the decision may not be the best. Here are four steps to set the stage for productive conversations and more efficient decisions.
Effectively closing the audit plan and landing on specific action items to pursue can be a challenge. In this contributed article, Workiva's Ernest Anunciacion provides three steps to close this year's audit plan and prepare for next year.
Communication's expert Jill Schiefelbein chats with Internal Audit Insights and offers up her take on what makes audit interviews so difficult for the modern-day internal auditor, and also offers up specific advise you can use during your next audit interview to ensure you're navigating those encounters effectively.
In this edition of the Audit Writer's Hub, we specifically tackle some of the pesky nothings – unimportant sentences, filler phrases, and negative phrasing – that creep into our writing and how to get rid of them.
Professional skepticism is a critical component of an internal auditor's duty of care that applies throughout any engagement. It's an attitude that includes a questioning mind and a critical assessment of the appropriateness and sufficiency of audit evidence. Here are the three key elements of skepticism you should know.
Many internal audit teams are not using video conferencing and virtual meetings to their advantage. When they're set up for success, research shows that virtual teams can be more effective in solving quick, simple problems than face-to-face teams.
With increased access to cost-effective and user-efficient digital communication technologies that allow people to intentionally or spontaneously connect from any place, at any time, we have opportunities to collaborate like never before.
As an internal auditor, it’s not just your words, it’s the absence of words or untimely words that could still convey a message to an audit client. It’s not only your actions, but it’s also the lack of action. All of these aspects result in communication. Communications expert Jill Schiefelbein explains more.
Persuasion is an important aspect of internal auditing that doesn’t receive enough attention or coverage. Internal audit's job is to verify that conditions and practices are as expected, and to identify opportunities for improvement within organizations. But how does persuasion play into this?
Is serving as an advisor and maintaining internal audit’s essential responsibility of objectivity, free of management influence, possible? Spoiler alert: Yes. And it’s both necessary and crucial to the internal audit profession’s standing in any organization.
In a perfect world, the client is receptive, understands each recommendation, and takes immediate corrective action. But we all know that perfect world doesn’t exist. In this informative feature, communications expert Jill Schiefelbein explains what internal auditors can do to make audit clients more receptive to their communication.
Internal Audit Insights catches up with Yulia Gurman, Director of Internal Audit and Corporate Security at the Packaging Corporation of America on the common questions that audit committee members have tied to cybersecurity, and what IT auditors should prepare for.
In audit report writing, we’re all pretty well tethered to writing the 5C’s of an audit issue, namely the criteria, condition, cause, consequence, and corrective action. In this edition of the Audit Writer's Hub, MISTI instructor Sarah Swanson focuses on criteria.
One of the challenges internal auditors encounter when analyzing a finding is identifying the root cause of the problem. This is where the Cause and Effect Diagram can help. In this featured post, MISTI's Dr. Hernan Murdock explains how and why.
Internal auditors do not always come into the profession knowing how to write well. That's why there's so much material available on writing clearly. Internal auditors do not always come into the profession knowing how to write well. But what if there was a way to transform an internal auditor's written and spoken communication?
As internal auditors increase their use of data analytics to better understand process characteristics, isolate issues and perform more accurate root cause analysis, the Pareto Diagram continues to grow as a useful tool for them.
We’ve provided tips on how internal auditors can become better presenters, but in this feature article communication’s expert Jill Schiefelbein highlights some visual cues internal auditors should take note of; from physical gestures to furniture placement.
With distributed workforces and flexible workstyles, virtual team meetings are becoming commonplace in the internal audit function. Many times, though, virtual meetings aren’t taken with the same level of seriousness as in-person meetings are.
If you’ve ever read or written a sentence along the lines of “Financial misstatement could lead to financial loss,” or “Non-compliance with policies” (what does that even mean anyway?), then read on for some tips to improve the risk statement.
Scatter diagrams can help find the answer to many questions. Internal auditors can leverage them to analyze pairs of numerical data and show the relationship between two variables. In this feature write-up, MISTI's Dr. Hernan Murdock highlights their benefits.
Creativity is the use of imagination or original ideas, but it's not that important for internal auditing. Given that reporting rules and regulations are non-negotiable, there is little room for creativity and original ideas, right? Wrong! Here's what you can do to be creative while conducting audits.
Even if you’re a dollar-menu writer now, that does not mean you always will be. Anyone can become a gourmet audit report writer. Over the next few weeks, Audit Writer’s Hub articles will focus on specific writing tips to help you begin crafting your gourmet issues. This week, we look at passive voice.
By improving the tone of the audit report, auditors maintained – if not, increased – the integrity of findings and developed better relationships with their clients. Rather than brutal honesty, auditors became humanely honest. Here are four strategies to improve tone in your audit reports.
Auditors in search of a great decision-making tool to identify the forces for and against a course of action should look no further than Force Field Analysis. In this feature by MISTI's own Dr. Hernan Murdock, he details how internal audit can leverage this technique.
Performance reviews are often viewed as arduous, time-consuming tasks. But they don’t have to be. Business communication expert Jill Schiefelbein dissects the two different aspects of evaluating one's audit team.
A quick ask on social media about pet peeves in email etiquette unleashed a tirade of email annoyances from friends and acquaintances. The list of email frustrations is enough to make anyone self-conscious, because we’ve all committed email blunders of our own. This week, we review email etiquette for auditors.
In this feature article, we catch up with one subject matter expert that discusses the qualities that world-class audit teams possess. Perhaps all these qualities are alive and spinning on your team right now. Or maybe the following will touch upon qualities worth recommitting to on your audit team.
Surveys can benefit internal audit when it comes to reviewing intangible topics such as corporate culture, entity-level controls, and an ethical environment. In this feature article, we highlight the critical stages of conducting and designing effective surveys.
In this video interview with Glenn Sumners, Director of LSU's Center for Internal Auditing, he discusses what attracts his students to the internal audit program at LSU, what you can expect from the next crop of internal auditors, and how you can help them adjust to the internal audit department of today.
If done well and communicated properly, reporting the root cause can be the glue your report needs to tie findings to the overall health of the company and create significant change for the business. This article provides some strategies to use in writing and communicating root cause in audit findings.
Today, we’ll be cleaning out the metaphorical “auditor’s closet.” The auditor’s closet comes stashed with a variety of documents that identify, document, record, and communicate specific controls for both you and whoever needs to review these controls in the future.
Good content is necessary, but ensuring that good content is written well is another experience on its own. Here, we dive into three areas that improve sentence flow: topic sentences, transitions, and filler phrases.
The following seven CAE best practices may help you both better position your team to improve the performance during each of their projects and better position internal audit as a go-to resource for business leaders.
Several themes emerged during this year's SuperStrategies 2016 event, which was held in September in Las Vegas, as internal audit executives gathered to learn and exchange ideas on successful strategies and to gain insights.
It's no secret that internal audit departments are doing a wider variety of audits that increasingly take them outside the financial reporting sphere. They are also changing the way they staff the department to keep up with that trend.
Cash rebates, free media inventory rebates, markups from 30 to 90 percent, dual rate cards, and non-transparent business practices are all things that can keep senior audit managers and audit committee members of the board awake at night.
It's hard to justify recruiting great talent, investing in training, and passing on company knowledge, only to find that those recruits eventually leave for competitors because they didn't feel engaged.