Now that we’ve cleared the hurdles of year-end reporting, it’s time to set personal, professional, and financial goals. I’ll summarize the personal and financial goals (e.g., eat healthier, exercise more, donate time and treasure to charity, and spend less) and focus more on the professional goals — specifically the goals for our department.

This will be the year of efficiency. We have the ability to automate our reporting through audit management software — so we’ll do that first. This doesn’t mean boilerplate reporting. Rather, we populate the report writing into the workpapers, and use the reporting tool to pull from the workpapers to assemble the report. And no goal should be without measurement. So, let’s say that we will produce a draft report the day following the end of fieldwork.

The next goal can be to deepen the tool kit of each member of the audit team. These are individualized goals, which might include reaching “expert” level at data analytics software, achieving one of the IIA professional certifications, or developing expertise in one of internal audit’s niche areas (e.g., network attack and penetration, construction auditing, and airline-specific audit areas). Some of these goals can be measured through testing (i.e., obtaining a certification) or through more subjective means.

All audit groups probably want to make sure they add value. Whether this is through finding cost-saving opportunities, revenue enhancement, preventing bad outcomes, or improving operations, we should make sure we add this to the list as well.

Finally, let’s take what we do well and raise it to the next level. Look at the audit life cycle — close the bottlenecks and time sinks and do what we do even better. Assign resources to reengineer the audit to make it ready for tomorrow.

What are your goals for 2012?


Posted on Feb 8, 2012 by Kiko Harvey

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  1. I agree with Kiko that IA should understand where value is planned to be created and where value needs to be preserved.  I call this value intelligence and is a far more powerful business person approach to watching out for shareholders/stakeholders than mostly talking about risk.  Alignment of the audit plan to value creation and preservation is critical  to being viewed as a trusted advisor by the BOD, CSuite and line management.

    More than ever, IA audit should keep abreast of technology that helps the organization with governance, risk and compliance, ERM or higher risk areas like security. While IA may not be the end buyer/user they can be a good team member to evaluate possibilities/solutions.

    Glad the comment box has reappeared.



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