Building Audit-Client Relationships

The Most Technical Slide of the Day
• R+R-R = R+R
• Rules and Regulations minus
Relationships equals Resentment and
Building Audit-Client
Tools, Tips, and Idea Sharing
Building Audit-Client Relationships
WNY IIA Summer Event
June 11, 2014
1. Building Street Cred(ibility)
A. Know the Business
B. Build a (Human) Relationship
C. Kick-Off Meeting
1. Building Street Cred(ibility)
Audit Preparation and Planning
Know the Business
– Put in the research before planning
– Have you ever tried planning an audit of a business you know nothing about?
Doesn’t work.
Meet with the Client
– Make it personal; Chew the Fat
Build trust, respect, and worth.
Kick-Off Meeting
“Why are you worthy to audit
– Invite everyone
my business? Why should I
– First Date
respect your opinion? How are
– Humanize your audit team
you going to earn my trust?”
– Expectations
– Empathy
– Feelings
– Sense of Comfort
2. Combating Unprofessional Skepticism
A. Preconceptions
B. Confident Humility
C. Exercising Objectivity
2. Combating Unprofessional
• “Audit Report was written before you walked in the door”
• Confident Humility
– The Know-It-All Auditor
• Exercise objectivity when evaluating the control environment
3. The Fuzz
A. Columbo Method
B. Listening Skills
C. Remaining Impartial
3. The Fuzz
Columbo vs. The FBI
This is not an investigation
Columbo Method
– Ask open-ended, non-threatening questions – then clarify
Use non-confrontational language
Remain Impartial
– We are not here to judge them or their work
4. No Surprises
A. Weekly Update Meetings
B. Human Contact
C. Format your Findings
4. No Surprises
Constant Communication
• Opt for human contact (person, phone, virtual)
• Weekly Update Meetings (Bi-weekly minimum)
– Audit Status
– Outstanding Items (Take the time to “thank” the client for
their commitment and cooperation)
– Discussion Items
– Feedback (What can we do better?)
– Questions
• Discuss findings as they arise (Refer to The Proverbial Bus) –
plate them aesthetically
• Present finding to management in the Audit Report format
5. The Proverbial Bus
A. Presentation of Findings
B. The “So What” Test
C. Bottom Up Presentation
5. The Proverbial Bus
The Presentation of Findings
Getting thrown ‘under the bus’
Start internally within Audit with the “So What?” test
Build trust through an open-mind and understanding
Bottom up approach – we don’t know what we didn’t ask
Update Meeting
– Be mindful of the attendees
– All findings should be vetted before being presented
to upper management
6. Save the Drama for your Mama
A. Don’t be an Alarmist
B. Spoon Full of Sugar
C. Measuring Success
6. Save the Drama for your Mama
It’s Not About You
• Don’t be an alarmist
– “The British are Coming!”
• No need to gloat
• Communicate the value or benefit that will be created in
addressing the issue
– This should be the highlight of the finding presentation
– Mary Poppins
• Success is not measured by the number of findings.
Success is measured by the lack of findings as controls
7. The Back Seat Driver
A. What is the Mission of Internal Audit
B. Tell Them
C. Show Them
7. The Back Seat Driver
• Doesn’t participate in helping you get to your
destination but will surely point out all the wrong
turns you’ve made along the way
• Identify misses (it’s our job), but do so with the
intent to help the client’s business (and our
company) succeed
• Remember ‘Plating’ – the presentation of
findings does not need to be done in a criticizing
or patronizing way
What Did We Talk About Today?
Tools, Tips, and Ideas Recap
Build Your Street Cred(ibility)
Check Unprofessional Skepticism at the Door
Take the Columbo Approach
Constant Communication
Success is Getting it Right
Keep Your Clients Out from Under the Bus
Don’t Back Seat Drive

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