Internal auditors are on the front lines of pushing organizations to do the right thing

It's not often that you hear about auditors and accountants in the same breath as aid workers, healthcare providers, or charity workers. Indeed, you won't find internal audit on Forbes' list of the 25 Most Meaningful Professions. And yet, internal audit can be a force for good. In their role of assuring systems are in place to prevent fraud and corruption, internal auditors can help organizations, especially public entities, fulfill their mission and help solve the problems the world faces. It's a grandiose idea, to be sure, but not an inaccurate one.

Internal audit plays an important part in setting the ethical tone at organizations and positively influencing the culture, with the hope that employees will make good decisions. At public entities and not-for-profit organizations, internal auditors are vital in ensuring donors and others that funds are being spent in the way they were intended, that the origination doesn't cut corners, and leaders practice good governance and aren't enriching themselves.

In this podcast, Joseph McCafferty, head of audit content at MIS Training Institute, talks with Graham Jocelyne, former auditor general of the World Bank Group and current managing director of Jocelyn and Associates, an advisory firm on risk, oversight, and assurance. Jocelyne knows a thing or two about how internal audit can be a force for good. Until recently, he chaired the audit and ethics committee for The Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis, and Malaria, as well as the audit committee for the World Food Program. He is also currently the chairman of the audit and risk committee for the International Center for Tropical Agriculture.

According to Joscelyne, internal audit should consider itself an important advocate of integrity and reform. "One of the things they will certainly want to look at is the quality of the senior management and the board itself in terms of their ethics and integrity, as well as tone at the top, which is part of what COSO requires," he says.

Jocelyn says internal audit has expanded its role in the organization and with that higher profile comes more responsibility. "Over the last 25 years, internal audit has moved from the basement to the boardroom, where they are providing an assurance function to the audit committee of an organization in the private sector as well as the public sector on an increasing basis," he says.

"The job of internal audit is to look at systems which are supposed to prevent fraud and corruption from happening and understanding where those systems are weak and where there is the risk of it happening. And then auditing into those spaces so that they would find it if they were looking for the right thing."

To hear Jocelyn's views on how internal audit can do better by doing good and how the function can be a force for good in the world, click on the link below.


Length: 20 min. 14 sec.
size: 18.5 MB