GUEST AUDITORS LEVERAGING ORGANIZATION’S TALENT
GUEST AUDITOR INTRODUCTION
The concept of “Guest Auditor” is prevailing in some of the companies. The advantages / requirement of having Guest Auditors are felt for following reasons:
a. To allow high performing/ specialist / technical staff within the organization an opportunity to work with Audit on specific assignments as part of their personal development
b. To seize the opportunity to tap into a huge talent pool of technical skill available within the Company.
c. Guest Auditors are placed on assignments where their particular skills would add value to the audit opinion.
d. Promote a better understanding / appreciation of audit
GUEST AUDITOR – INITIAL STEPS
Audit engages with management and HR through relationship management process to promote the Programme and identify high performing / specialist resources to support the Audit Plan.
The Program can be promoted through management and is by invitation only. The process is ongoing. Rigorous selection process ensures potential conflicts of interest are identified and we get the right skill set / person to support specific audit assignments.
GUEST AUDITOR PROCESS
Effective engagement at the outset ensures the right result. Guest Auditors are given preâ€reading on the host unit and broader business/Project information to build a good appreciation of the Auditee unit / Project and key inherent risks. This is done in the form of homework i.e. the Guest continues with day time job. Specific work assignments are identified to benefit the Guest / Audit.
The Guest is encouraged to interact with the host unit to share ideas. The Guest is also closely shadowed by the audit Team Leader to stimulate ideas sharing and assist in analysis of key risks/issues. The Guest is away from the department for no more than minimum 6 working days to a maximum of 12 working days at a stretch.
A one page performance / experience report is completed by the Guest auditor which solicits comments also from the Auditee on the experience and how to improve the Audit process. This can be shared with the parent manager and the Audit Team Leader.
GUEST AUDITOR OBJECTIVES AND BENEFITS
A) For releasing unit
a. The parent unit will receive back a more rounded individual who has a better understanding of how the other Groups within the Company operate and who can also be a catalyst for change through the transfer of best practice, cross selling opportunities etc.
b. The parent can leverage the new Audit relationship to consult with Audit on internal control issues.
c. The parent will gain a better appreciation of how to engage with Audit prior to/during/following audits of their unit.
B) For the Guest Auditor
a. Broadens their knowledge of the L&T Group through exposure to the working practices, products, and business of the host unit.
b. Develop their own careers / networking.
c. Gain a better appreciation of corporate governance, risk management and internal control through interaction with the Auditors.
C) For Group Internal Audit
a. Leverage the specialist skills and knowledge of the Guest Auditor for better technical Audit of Projects / products, knowledge transfer to Audit Team.
b. Taps into a pool of Talent readily available and willing to learn.
c. Adds to the Audit resource pool of experienced technical skills available within the organization.
d. Demystifies the Audit Function and makes it more attractive and accessible to the employees.
e. Encourages Guest Auditors to think about joining Audit (career switch or secondment towards senior management positions) or prompting others to consider this choice.
GUEST AUDITOR EXPERIENCE OF OTHER COMPANIES
The experience of some of the guest auditors who participated in this kind of program in some of the Companies where this is being used, the Feedback is very positive. The program has been accepted within the group and there was a talent queue wanting to experience an multiple experience audit assignment and requests for a repeat experience.