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The Shrink Speaks January 4, 2015

Posted by Audit Monkey in The Joy & Pain of Internal Audit.

Last year (I know, it seems like a life time away), I had the opportunity to perform some audits at a healthcare client who had a resident psychiatrist based at a couple of sites. Not being a shrinking violet, I always indulge in a bit of light conversation with another professional as, on occasion,it can be insightful. So, on this occasion, I struck up a conversational with the local Shrink and casually  asked how he dealt with the dross, the same old complaints, the perennial mental issues that patients had, The ultimate questions was whether it got him down?  Let’s face it, if I listened to everyone’s’ tales of woes week in week out, I would be depressed. Of course, I drew comparisons with Internal Audit. Let’s face it, we see disasters, incompetence, bad behaviours and after a while, one becomes increasingly cynical as poor managers attempt to deflect criticism (in the form of an audit report). In short, it’s depressing as you switch from one disaster to another, week in, week out, year in, year out. The Shrink replied thus:

“You have to remember that people get into trouble.  They do bad things, stupid things and things they shouldn’t do and they come to you for help. If they didn’t do stupid things and things they shouldn’t do, there would be no need for the professional.  The professional person exists to resolve the problems people get into”.

So there you have it. I often forget that the majority of people don’t have the best education and depth of experience I have. Often I think the issues I encounter are so obvious that anyone would detect them but after watching Judge Judy over the holiday season, perhaps not.  The Shrink’s explanation carries more weight if you work in practice in an advisory capacity than if you work as an Internal Auditor in industry. With the latter, you are a necessity as the Regulator says you should be there or the business is so big, management need to protect the firm’s assets. However, I found it reassuring, not that will be auditing with a smile on my face in 2015 but still.


1. ITauditSecurity - January 6, 2015

You make a great point: the general populace doesn’t recognize risk as easily as auditors do. I guess not all things are obvious like we sometimes believe.

But I also think too many people are lazy and are trying to get by even though they know better.

But I’ll remember your point going forward…

Great post!

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