Commandments for the Internal Auditor :
1. Become useful, add value, be helpful and be seen as such.
2. Consciously try to become a member of the management team. It is not that you are away from the team, evaluating them. You are a part of them.
3. Don’t function in isolation.
4. Contribute to the bottom line. Some parts of the profits must come from you. Always ask yourself, “Am I useful ? Am I doing something worthwhile ? Will it make it function better ? Will it improve its value against the resources spent ?”
5. Stick to the terms of reference. The internal auditors must get exactly what is their agenda. It must not be loose as we are likely to get into others’ areas, step on too many toes and create problems for ourselves and for the auditees.
6. Be honest, truthful and trustworthy.
7. Be fair, just and conscientious.
8. Don’t become a tool in the hands of the management. Don’t say what they want to hear unless you believe that their expectations are right. You do run the risk of losing your job but if you are a good auditor, you must be prepared for that.
9. Exercise caution and discretion.
10. Place yourself in the shoes of the auditee. Ask : How would it be if, what I have written, had been written for me. Be sensitive to the auditee.
11. Don’t hanker after power. Internal audit can become a power centre of its own kind.
12. Write crisp reports.
13. Let the report be in a reasonable and sensible language. Don’t be offensive.
14. Don’t be petty.
15. Distinguish between major and minor items.
16. Discuss your report with your auditee. Give him a fair chance to explain.
17. Don’t write all that you see. Don’t make ‘masala’ reports. Not writing is sometimes better. Give a chance to improve if the auditee is mindful. If there is something major, you must have the courage to say so. If there is nothing to report, say that too. The Internal Auditors must be able to give a pat on the back.