audited. An auditor who understands the
organizational structure can better produce a more thorough internal audit.
BRIAN DONAHUE, CIA
wrong assignments! But, the main point is
that when the audit shop is small, the company tends to be small, too. Risk analysis
and audit planning are easier because the
business is simpler and more homogeneous
and because the auditors are close to senior
management and the business. In addition,
errors are politically less dangerous in the
small shop because the auditors were in
line with management, not on their own.
Finally, large audit teams cannot afford
to spend an excessive amount of time on
manual [audits any more than small shops
can]. When the shop is small, inefficiency
costs hundreds; when it’s big, it costs
thousands! [The article suggests that the]
solution is to automate. Economist the-
ory says it is easier, more obvious, when
you are big: Big is bountiful!
Chef Du Dep Controle Interne
O’Regan’s article is timely, relevant, and
provides excellent guidance for traveling
auditors. As an internal auditor for the International Rescue Committee, a refugee relief
organization, I travel to strife-torn and
dangerous places, including Ingushetia,
Kenya, Pakistan, the Balkans, West Africa,
and the Great Lakes region of Africa.
In Ingusehetia, even in — or perhaps
especially in — the capital, Nazran, I
needed to travel with a security complement of one armed civilian driver and one
heavily-armed soldier in one car, with
a backup-chase car manned by an armed
civilian driver and two other soldiers with
serious firepower. This is standard precaution and is not meant to protect international NGO staff from the auditors.
EDWARD J. O. RODRIGUEZ, CPA
International Rescue Committee
New York, NY
WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU!
Let us know what you think of this issue. Were
our pages filled with timely, useful information,
or did we miss our goal by a long shot?
You can reach us via:
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Letters may be edited for clarity and length.
Although O’Regan’s article contains useful points on auditing abroad, it would
have been much more value added had he
touched on other cultural interpretation
of such auditing characteristics as licensing, independence, ethics, reporting relationships, fieldwork, and communicating
results. Also, the article lacked any mention of foreign accounting and auditing
LAL BALKARAN, CIA, FCMA, FCIS, CGA
DOWN IS UP
I have lead two internal audit shops, one
small and one large-ish and I can tell you
that “Savvy Solutions for Small Audit
Shops,” by Dave Salierno (October 2003)
is upside down.
To begin with, the article says, “When
resources are scarce, prioritizing becomes
essential for ensuring efficiency.” This is
even more [important] when you have
many auditors: You can spend a lot on
Remember your life before Sarbanes-Oxley?
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FEBRUARY 2004 INTERNAL AUDITOR