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Emasculated Audit Function June 18, 2015

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

I’ve been a bit cheeky this week and I went to an interview. What struck me is the Interviewer (Head of Internal Audit) didn’t sell the role particularly well.

Here’s an overview of the interview. I was asked to give a summary of myself and the things I’ve done. Easy enough and the questions continued.

Interviewer: “What would you like about the job?”

AM: “I would like to utilise my knowledge in XYZ part of the business”.

Interviewer: “We have sold that part of the business”.

AM: “I did read the website and you, as a firm, are still promoting those business lines”.

Oh well. Ignoring the massive faux pas, we continue.

I asked what audits were on the Audit Plan for 2015/16. The Interviewer said they concentrate on the second line of defence as this is where the controls were. (The three lines of defence model is quite simple, the first line is the business, the second line compliance monitoring and risk, and the third line is Internal Audit.)

I asked the Interviewer about this, as to be honest, I was quite puzzled. The answer was all the monitoring takes place in the second line, hence rather than auditing in the first line, they audit the second.

Me being me said,”So you check the checker?”

Interviewer: “No. I haven’t explained it well.”

I think to myself, I think you have!

The Interviewer continued: “We don’t audit the first line as we are not qualified to determine the business they write”.

AM: Again thinking to myself, “Of course you can! Where’s the challenge? Where’s the independent judgment? Where’s the value add?”

Anyway, we continue and we discuss the rest of the Plan.

Interviewer: “We do a corporate governance audit every year. This year we are concentrating on culture”.

AM: “So you are slicing the corporate governance audit every year to do a review?”

Interviewer – silence – “What would you like to do?”

AM: “Sexy audits, like system implementations where you can look at the project management aspect, see what new business efficiencies are being achieved, and comment on the control environment”.

Interviewer: “We have just done a system implementation; it was designed to lose head count”.

AM: “Well. I suppose you could look at the new system under BAU but the fun bit has been done!”

Interviewer: “By the way, we don’t do IT Audit in London, it is done by the US Team”.

AM thinks to himself, CISA wouldn’t be of much use here.

So what can we conclude? There wasn’t much of a job and it was all perfunctory. I’m not surprised, it was a Regulated firm and all the Spanish practices have been driven out the system. It reminded me of Mork from ‘Mork and Mindy’; in one episode, Mork is so humanised by Mindy he becomes boring. Also, it was quite evident they didn’t like Internal Audit in the firm, and the further they could distance themselves from Audit, the better! Only one thing to do, make a shift exit.


1. baamadmin - August 12, 2015

Really helpful touching on the subject of Audits! Well written blog, can’t wait to find out more! you can find a little from auditors cambridge http://www.ashcroftanthony.com

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