Getting to know the Corporate Chismosa, the Internal Auditor

No using of headphones policy, people always looking at your monitor, loud singing and bad bathroom habits or your company is blocking you from certain websites and people stealing your vegetable salad out of the fridge. These small messes can make your not-so busy day stressed out instantly. How intolerant it could be when your colleague is ignoring a ringing phone? Isn’t it irritating when people presume you are the photocopier engineer just so you sit next to the machine?

These are few of the limitless reasons why an employee could be possibly swayed up in expressing himself “I will file my resignation letter tomorrow” without considering the positive things.

But, have you also encountered some people in your workplace who made you feel you are not doing the right thing or as if he is insisting that you neglected to do things right? Once in your earning-a-living journey, have you also tried to curse someone or two from your workplace?

It is not inherently his job to make you feel uncomfortable whenever he is around, or having an embarrassed feeling every time you receive a notice in your e-mail inbox. That is normal, but do not overstressed. He is also part of your organizational chart tasked to find solutions, and not to place the blame in you.

You call him the enemy, the king and queen of compliance or internal control freak.

For sure, you can re-count those outbursts in your mind and probably know who is the man or the woman behind your rants and frustrations.

Yes, he is the internal auditor.

I am proud to say that I am one of the corporate chismosas. In my three years of working with findings, controls and incomplete attachments, allow me respond to some of your rants and frustrations.

“Ilang taon na akong nagtratrabaho sa kompanyang ito, tapos kwe-kwestyunin mo lang ako?”

Auditing is not all about ticking with the red or green gel pen. We do not audit specific individuals, but we review set of controls and procedures. We recognize the importance of face-to-face communication rather than virtual reality. We try to listen for understanding.

“Mga istorbo sa trabaho, sayang oras!”

Before the issuance of notice of audit or engagement letter, we already prepared an audit program or engagement work program and have allocated time for each review. Please understand if the audit review can run longer than what was written in our notice. There are avoidable and unavoidable circumstances that may occur. Also, consider the complexity of the review and potential of the subject matter. As we gather evidences, there may be some other unexpected problems related to it.

“Mga walang konsiderasyon, mga pabida!”

If you will just see how horrible our faces every time we are yet to make recommendations to improve certain area, you will understand why we are always bida after the official time out- best in OT. We also humans and are not error-free. Truthfully, there are times nahihiya na rin po kami sa kapa-follow-up o sa pangungulit. But how can we make an opinion if we do not have any document or report received from you? It is not easy to fill in the blanks.

“Biased ang judgment niya, close nga siya sa mga ibang department, di ba?”

We are not the private eyes of the executives, or the eaves-dropper of the management. You may assert that we maintain a friendly conversation to others, but we also need to be skeptical. We do not want arguments, but peace and reconciliation.

“So ano po ang uunahin ko, hanapin ang mga attachments o asikasuhin ang mga buyers?”

We recognize your expertise in your job, so you know better which is to be attended first. If we are very persistent and nakakasira na ng araw, we prefer that you tell us your real situation- either you are in a rush to prepare reports within the day or you are occupied with telephone calls.

“Ano po ba ang problema nila sa control? Kumikita naman ang kumpanya a.”

We acknowledge that the company is doing well but we are trying to see the big picture by appreciating and understanding the whole organization’s control and procedures, which starts with the nose of the mind- our instincts. In that vision, we can determine what is relevant and not. We trust you and yet we need to verify.

“Kunting mali lang, findings na agad. Kailangan ba talagang ireport mo yan?”

There are rules regarding on various items that should be included in an audit report. Our reports must adhere to accepted standards established by governing bodies. Before issuance of report, we call for a meeting to discuss with you our initial findings. We are much appreciative to hear your thoughts and insights regarding our audit observations. This is also the best time to resolve any outstanding issues.

“Naka-hold pa po sa kanila, marami pa po sila questions.”

Do not be annoyed if we have many questions to ask from you, it is not that we don’t believe you but we make sure we don’t miss that small but very important piece. We need to be careful in finding the right root cause.

“Monitor standard processing time, sa audit naman nagtatagal yan.”

We always emphasize to everyone in maintaining the standard time of each process but there were times we require longer time in our conduct of audit. Each type of our audit review is done differently although the basic procedures are still the same. The size and complexity of our business, standard of our records and your cooperation are the factors why our audit takes longer that what is expected.

“Remember that a failure is an event, not a person.”- Zig Ziglar

We are not obsessed with seeing failures in policies and compliance because at the end of the day, we are also just like you- believes that the only way to do great work is to love what you do. Our audit recommendations are focused on our main target- the process, not necessarily the loopholes.

We are corporate chismosas in a way that for us to fully appreciate each individual roles in a whole organizational chart, we need to put ourselves to your positions.  We are chismosas with substance and reasonable assurance.

Say hello to your corporate chismosas today!

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About the Author

Mary Elaine Barlolong
Mary Elaine BarlolongBusiness Development Unit Head
Elaine is currently an Internal Auditor of a real estate company. She has been in the audit profession since October 2014. She is an active member of the Institute of Internal Auditors- Philippines and her advocacy is to encourage change, to raise awareness and to educate people to appreciate and understand internal audit better. She is also the Board Secretary of an employees' cooperative, which gave her the opportunity to enjoy again her craft, which is writing. Elaine was assigned to do hosting during special events in their company. She joins running events during weekends and aspires to cross the 42 KM finish line soonest.