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James Paterson's blog

A selection of blog posts by James Paterson.

Now on YouTube

In this time of lock-down I have been working in more virtual ways with webinars, and also talking to friends and colleagues on topics that may be interesting.

The first videos are on:

Fraud and corruption risk management, with Martin Robinson:

 

Internal Auditing in BioPharma, with Jaap Van Oerle:


Introductions and series overview – what we hope you will learn Continue Reading

Training & development online/ webinars

As we adjust to new ways of working I have been working with my friends in the IIA across Europe to deliver engaging webinars on a range of key topics.

Details of internal audit webinars are as follows:

IIA UK:

  • Auditing culture – 9 June
  • Root cause analysis – 10 June
  • Lean and agile audit in the COVID era – 15 June
  • Urgent responses to Covid 19 – 16 June
  • Managing yourself and others in challenging times – 18 June
  • Assurance mapping – 23 June
  • Heads of internal audit – induction masterclass – 24-25 June

IIA BEL:

  • Assurance over GRC – PM 26th May and AM 27th May
  • Lean and Agile Auditing – PM 27th May and AM 28th May
  • Root Cause Analysis – PM 28th May and AM 29th May

IIA Finland:

  • Auditing Culture – PM 1st June and AM 2nd June
  • Assurance Mapping – PM 11th June and AM 12th June

IIA Norway:

  • Lean and Agile Audit in the Covid Era – PM 2nd June and AM 3rd June
  • Assurance Mapping – PM 3rd June and AM 4th June

Timings for split sessions are as follows:
Morning sessions are 09.00 to 12.15 local time
Afternoon sessions are 13.00 to 16.30 local time

E-mail info@RiskAI.co.uk for more information, including tailored training on other topics.

Hope you can join me…

Coronavirus: Business not as usual…

and that applies to internal audit as well…

The following article has had over 500 views in 2 days on LinkedIn, I hope you find it helpful.

I’ve just facilitated a two-day head of audit event, with only one person pulling out because of COVID19. However, it was inevitably a key topic of conversation, and here are some reflections that might be of interest:

COVID19 has reinforced, again, the problem with a “failure of imagination” in many risk management processes.

A failure of imagination was one of the key learnings from the 9/11 tragedy, and it looks like many organisations have found themselves with a similar problem with COVID19, and all its knock-on impacts. It may not be a big priority right now, but all organisations who have felt blind-sided by what has happened should be prepared, at the right time, to take a long hard look at their risk management processes.

What other risks are there where might we be thinking “that will never happen”?
How do we make sure we prioritise impact over probability? 
How good is your organisation in thinking through the knock-on consequences of one risk on other aspects of its operations?  Continue Reading

2019 ECIIA Conference – Plenary presentation

Does internal audit have a blind spot concerning organizational politics?

I was pleased to be asked to present at the 2019 ECIIA conference in Luxembourg. It was an honour and a privilege to present to around 700 attendees. The key messages I delivered were:

  1. We (in internal audit) may not be doing enough to proactively identify and manage political pressure:
    • First at the level of (audit) teams, but also at the level of the IIA itself; and
  2. The wrong sort of politics may even be a problem within the Internal Audit profession

I defined organizational politics as:

  • The networking, influencing approaches, and use power that managers deploy to get the organization to make a decision they want, and/or
  • The strategies and tactics managers use to slow down decision making, or even to stop decisions being made..

Organizational politics can be seen in a good or bad light, depending on whether the political activity is genuinely for an organizational benefit, compared to primarily benefiting an individual’s career, power and/or influence.

Continue Reading

Culture and behaviour and Auditing Culture

A primer (part 1)

I’ve just run another course on Culture and auditing culture in London with 12 in attendance. This brief article gives a summary of key points concerning common misperceptions, and is offered as a counter-balance to much of what is currently being said about this topic. The second article will discuss specific approaches that, on my analysis, will lead to long-term progress in this arena.

Expectations of those attending

We discussed why people had come to the course and they said:

  • “Our new company is defining its culture, so we want to input to that”;
  • “We have many mergers and acquisitions and see culture issues as businesses try to merge, which we want to better understand”;
  • “We know it’s important, and want to think about a culture audit universe”;
  • “Auditing culture came up as an External Quality Assessment topic, so we want to learn about it”;
  • “Senior stakeholders have been talking about it, so we wanted to know more”;
  • “Our internal audits of risks point to root causes of issues coming from culture, so want to be clearer about what’s going on”;
  • The remaining 6 attendees (50%) explained they had put a culture on their audit plan because it is a current hot topic, and now wanted to be clearer about how to do an audit.
Continue Reading

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