Tag Archives: Risk Culture

Guidance on Auditing Culture and behaviour

An extract from James Paterson’s latest CPD technical article on the ACCA website. 

It’s time that GRC professionals, regulators and Internal Audit recognised the importance of auditing culture and behaviour – the “soft stuff” 

For the past six years I have been running the IIA UK training on auditing culture, I also helped write the IIA UK guidance on auditing culture. My background is worth explaining: I’m a finance professional, but did a masters’ degree in management (focusing on organisational behavior). I then left finance to work in HR (in leadership development and managing culture change). Then I became a Head of Internal Audit for AstraZeneca for seven years, and since 2010, I have been combining my passion for people and the soft stuff with my love of Internal Audit, doing training and webinars across Europe and further afield.

I am really happy that GRC professionals, regulators and Internal Audit have started to recognise the importance of the soft stuff when it comes to the effective management of risk and maintaining ethical conduct. This was caused – in a large part – by the recognition that many aspects of the financial crisis of 2007-2008 were caused by short-comings in the “bonus culture”, and underestimation of the latent risks building up. In addition, there were mis-selling scandals highlighting poor conduct in sales, which did not put the customer first.

In the UK, the importance of culture and conduct in relation to Internal Audit was formally recognised in a code of practice for Internal Audit in financial services, published in 2013, which said that Internal Audit should consider, when making audit plans: “the risk and control culture” and “the setting of, and adherence to, risk appetite” amongst other areas. In January 2020, the same points have been included in the IIA UK Code of practice for Internal Audit, applying to all sectors and not just financial services.

You can read the rest of this article on the ACCA website

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…

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

Culture and the HR function

James Paterson speaks to Jenni Hardy about culture and the HR function – April 2016.

James: We’re going to talk about culture, and behaviour, and how you would know that you have a good culture. Can you please take us through some of the thoughts you have about how to approach this based on your own experiences in HR?

Jenni: In my experience culture is significantly influenced by the strategy of an organisation and its leadership; these are the key transformational influencers. The culture is also affected by the external environment, so what industry sector the organisation is in, what markets and its competitive environment etc.

Then how you measure it, and how you see it, how things work around here, is best evidenced by the observable behaviours, what goes on around here. This can also be complemented by an annual employee survey.

As mentioned before, the culture will be influenced by the CEO and the direction that he or she sets, in terms of objectives and values. When done well, expected values will articulate the sorts of behaviours they want to see; but this will – of course – be influenced by day-to-day management behaviour and the behaviour of the staff around you, creating sub-cultures. Sub-cultures will comprise of factors such as “Am I fairly rewarded”, “Am I recognised”, and “Do I feel my views are heard”? Continue Reading

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