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7 Nov

07 November 2019:

Danke für diesen Blog von The AuditFactory:


Update 08 November 2019:

I was speaking today with the CEO of the DIIR. Many thanks for calling. I greatly appreciate his perspective on what’s going on at the top of the DIIR. Very helpful. The members of the German Institute of Internal Auditors will soon decide upon their representation with their vote. Full transparency and openness are encouraged when debating. I support diversity and due coverage of the diverse range of internal audit functions out there, big and small, listed and not-listed, public and private etc. I do wish the DIIR much continued success. Stronger together!

Audit cycle – How we actually work

7 Oct

I value this diagram from Scharmer’s “Theory U” (2009) and recommend it for use within the Internal Audit (IA) community:


Based on the insight that IA is not the decision maker, IA is not the one that will ultimately change things, IA can only inspire people to change. That requires a healthy level of modesty; asking questions rather than assuming expertise; being open-minded and respectful in regard to the organization; and acknowledging that IA is just one part of the organization, requiring the rest of the organization in order to succeed.

On that basis, this audit cycle starts with appreciating what is:


IA first sees and appreciates what the company (the process owner/s) do (does). IA is on site and views via, for example, talk-through and document based walk-through what is actually happening, not what should be happening.  Then,


IA puts things into perspective, compares observed practices with company standards or best practices (to extent known), analyzes, summarizes, synthesizes etc. When possible, in doing so leveraging IT, e.g. via using Process Mining as a tool analyzing big data and unearthing patterns in the digital traces in the ERP systems. Then,


IA then states what it saw and thinks it says, thereby pointing out control weaknesses and/or unexploited performance potential. The written audit report is the typical vehicle for doing that. IA considers providing other means of communication as appropriate.  Eventually, and that matters most,


IA then follows-up on topics and actions as ultimately agreed with management in the closing meeting. In doing so, IA can only trigger action, and help remediation and improving things, but it cannot act on behalf of the key process owners themselves as it has no operational responsibility.

Views welcome.

How You Can Influence Internal Audit’s Value Proposition to Create a Unique and Sustainable Identity

13 Oct

Joint presentation with Tracie Marquardt (CPA) at the German IIA congress in Dresden on 8th October 2015. Please see the pdf-file attached.

Villeroy & Boch New Wave Cities of the World© CHL

DIIR Kongress 2015 Marquardt_Lenz


The presentation was well received. Three lucky winners got Villeroy & Boch’s coffee mugs, from Tokyo, Rio, and from New York.