Very often day to day pressures take precedence and people don’t stand back and look at the processes and information they use. Internal audit provides an opportunity to do this, also providing an independent view… and, in my case, drawing on experience of numerous organisations.
For some people the term “audit” can bring negative thoughts to mind; perhaps a fear of criticism and the prospect of disruption with little benefit; however I like it to be a positive experience, with helpful forward looking recommendations (if required). My blog “Why an ‘us’ culture adds to the bottom line” sets out my ethos, which I like to use in internal audit projects.
From the perspective of directors and trustees, systems and information need to help the organisation meet its strategic objectives, although they may not have the time, inclination or (perhaps) skills to look at things in detail. Internal audit can help…and while I have an eye for the detail, I also am mindful of softer issues such as training needs.
Small and medium sized businesses and charities usually can’t justify having an independent in-house internal audit function and outsourcing provides a cost effective solution as help may only be needed occasionally.