Audit Management, Reuben Sandwiches and You!
By Evan Stos
First off, I’m honored to do the final audit management blog post in what has unofficially been called, “The Onspring October Audit Management Super Spooktacular”, or OOAMSS for short. OK, to be honest, I’m the only one here that has ever called it that. And to be more honest, the only reason I’m the final audit management blogger is because I procrastinated writing it until the end of this month. But I’m here now, so let’s talk some more audit—GET PUMPED!
First off, if you’ve been reading audit management blog posts all month, I salute you. I have to hand it to my colleagues, they’ve done an admirable job presenting audit management information in a wide variety of ways. Needless to say, audit is a very dry topic, right up there with the history of the sewing machine—no offense to the “threadheads” out there—or a brief dissertation of gasoline prices. Moreover, if I asked a non-auditor to explain to me off-the-cuff what the classic auditor stereotypes are, they’d probably give me a list like this:
- Overwhelmingly negative
- Uncreative “box checkers” that always and strictly follow procedure
- Painful attention to mundane details
- Gray suit/black rimmed glasses
- Monotone voice
Basically, the physical embodiment of Ben Stein (Bueller?…Bueller?…sorry, I’m old and so are my pop culture references). Like Kyle Graves mentioned in his Auditing as a Superpower blog post, the typical stigma associated with an organization’s internal audit team is not a positive one.
However, as someone who has worked with auditors for over a decade implementing software to help streamline their audits, I can undoubtedly say that the aforementioned stereotypes are mostly untrue. First off, I’ve met several auditors that I would consider “glass half-full” people; the kind that would be more likely to say, “What would we do if Karen won the lottery and quit?!” rather than “What would we do if Karen got hit by a bus?!” Furthermore, some of the more creative people I’ve ever met have worked or work as auditors—in fact, I’m a firm believer that creativity is what helps them better fix inaccuracies/inefficiencies in the processes they audit. In fact, here’s a real mind-blower: you…yes, you!…audit things in your life on a regular basis.
Allow me to elaborate. In our office building, we have a cafe where I’ll grab a quick bite to eat for lunch once or twice a week. My go-to sandwich was the reuben: corned beef, swiss cheese, sauerkraut and thousand island dressing on rye bread. However, one day whilst stuffing my face, I stared in contemplative thought at my sandwich (that’s not weird, right?) and realized there was one part about the sandwich that I wasn’t crazy about even though I loved all of the other components: corned beef. Now believe you me, I finished that sandwich, but it got me thinking about how I might change up my order next time. The sandwich meat I prefer to all others is turkey (I dare you to argue with me), so what if I got a turkey reuben? Lo and behold, the next time I ate at the cafe, I ordered a turkey reuben, and it was far superior. I’ve been having it ever since.
So yeah, I audited my sandwich…and I’m better off for it.
My point is, we audit things in our day-to-day lives all of the time, we just don’t classify it as “auditing” because we’re assessing something we want to do, whether it be buying a sandwich, buying a new car or how we get ready for work in the morning—my wife says I sing too loudly in the shower, so she’s the one auditing me in that situation. Internal auditors do the same thing, except for business processes: they pour through mundane details, determine where there are gaps and then provide recommendations on how to fix them. It is by no means glamorous, but it is necessary so that their organization may become more efficient. Therefore, I’m proud to help them implement Onspring’s audit management software so they can better manage their entire auditing process from start to finish—to help them replace the metaphorical corned beef with the turkey, if you will.