Managing a small audit department is an exercise is stretching the buck

Managing a small audit department is never easy. Covering a seemingly endless stream of risks with limited resources can be trying for any audit leader. Small audit department leaders must become experts in time management, stretching the budget, and focusing on what matters.

In this first installment of our new series, "MISTI on Audit," Joel F. Kramer, vice president of internal audit curriculum at MIS Training Institute, offers some advice for leaders of small audit departments on how to get the most out of a small team and a small budget.

“Having been, as part of my career, someone who had to start an audit department, which was a department of one that eventually became seven, I can truly appreciate the uniqueness of the situation. You have the same responsibilities to the audit committee and the C-suite as large departments do, but you just have fewer resources,” says Kramer.



According the former auditor, a small audit department needs to take the risk-based approach to auditing to the extreme. “What you really have to do is concentrate on the significant risks, the key controls, and audit only those high-impact, high-probability areas and not get bogged down in the low-impact, low-probability areas,” says Kramer.

"Above all, know the business, he says. “So what are you doing as the leader in a small audit department to keep abreast of what the significant and emerging risks are?”