Tag Archives: Lean & Agile Auditing

Chairing the EU Audit conference on Creativity & Innovation in Internal Auditing

I was very pleased to be involved with a team from the European Union Internal Audit Service to chair their 1 day workshop on Creativity & Innovation in Internal Auditing in October 2017.

James Paterson

The agenda was packed with interesting topics and great speakers. The main themes were:

  • The history of Accounting and Auditing – with insights into what might happen in the future
  • The impact of technology on business and internal audit – we covered; A, B, C, D: AI, BlockChain, Cyber and Data but surprisingly it emphasised the importance of not thinking technology should be even the main focus
  • Auditing Culture and Auditing behaviour – emphasising the importance of looking at these areas
  • Lean auditing and agile ways of working (which I also participated in) – highlighting that Value and Productivity needed to be an essential area of focus for Internal Audit teams going forward.

Slides are available through the following link:


The conference web stream is available through this link:

Hope some of this material is of interest.

The Routledge Companion to Lean Management

The Routledge Companion to Lean Management is about to be published and contains an new article on ‘Lean Auditing’ by James Paterson.

‘I feel proud to have been included in this book with so many notable lean experts’.
James Paterson

The book is edited edited by Torbjorn H. Netland and Daryl J. Powell. They have produced a nice video to explain Lean, and the contents of the book, in simple terms: Continue Reading

Speaking at IIA International Conference

IIA International Conference, 17 – 20 July 2016, New York, USA.

Lean Auditing: How, What and Why?
James Paterson | Director, Risk & Assurance Insights Ltd.

In this session, participants will:

  • Discuss the definition and theory of Lean Auditing.
  • Learn how Lean Auditing can offer a back-to-basics way of looking at value and efficiency in audit.
  • Explore what stakeholders want and do not want, and how Lean Auditing can serve those requirements.
  • Identify new approaches to assignment planning and delivery based on the precepts of Lean Auditing.

Further details about the conference can be found here.

Lean auditing – Having the right mindset

The book ‘Lean Auditing’ was published at the beginning of January 2015 and I have been pleased to have positive feedback, including various invitations to do work in Norway and Brussels in February, Germany in March and the US in June.

Here are some high level reflections on the lean auditing mindset:

‘The most important waste is the waste we do not recognize’

This is a quote from Shingo Shigeo, who championed lean in Toyota. The mindset shift to make is to see waste is often so prevalent that it has become invisible and ordinary to the audit team. Waste (or Muda) is spelled out in lean and includes:

  • Waste from producing something that is not needed:
  • Waste caused by defects or rejects;
  • Waste caused by inappropriate processing;

Based on this list (which is just a subset of all of the Muda wastes), one can clearly see the importance of having a clear purpose to each assignment and the need to have a staggered approach to each assignment so ensure that additional work (e.g. testing) is merited. Continue Reading

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