Book Review: “Managing the Audit Function” by Michael P. Cangemi and Tommie Singleton
Many Internal Audit directors and managers new to their positions sometimes find it difficult to focus on the basics that keep their departments working smoothly. Especially, when dealing with the challenges of a difficult economy and pressures from Audit Committees adjusting to new regulatory issues. To make matters worse, audit managers often juggle multiple projects at various locations with limited staffs and little direction or mentoring from “audit subject matter experts” who when needed are difficult to find. Obtaining timely assistance in these situations can be a challenge.
Subscribing to the hundreds of blogs, Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin and professional networking groups on the web helps, but after a time the inevitable “information overload” occurs and obtaining 120 opinions in 2 hours, each from unknown individuals of varying expertise, and based on assumptions ranging from accurate to insane, can actually hinder decision making. This is why I recently recommended to a new IT Audit Director experiencing this challenge, that he purchase “Managing the Audit Function” 3rd. Edition, written by Michael P. Cangemi and Tommie Singleton. This book’s 369 pages are an audit manager’s best friend, direct to the point and authoritative. The authors, both highly respected and experienced in the audit field, focus on the key elements needed to successfully manage an internal audit department and includes a wide range of forms, policies, guidelines, as well as reporting best practices and organizational / administrative procedures. In my opinion this is the type of book every internal audit library should have, benefiting both financial and IT audit managers.
Let me review the book in greater detail so you understand why I place so much value in it.
The book is divided into four parts with nine chapters, each thoroughly presented with real life examples focusing on the what, why and when. The first part provides an excellent background on the Fundamentals of the Internal Audit Function (for those who have not had the pleasure of reading Brink’s Modern Internal Auditing), covering auditing standards and the responsibilities of a corporate auditor. The chapters on Internal Controls is precise and covers Risk Assessment and Control Strategies, both of great importance given the current regulatory environment. This first part of the book also introduces the reader to the “Corporate Audit Department Procedures Manual” which is the tool used by the authors to bring into context each of the many forms and templates presented. At minimum, this book teaches the new audit director or manager how to prepare a high quality Audit Department Procedures Manual!
The second part of the book focuses on the management and administrative aspects of running a corporate audit department. Taking nothing for granted, the first chapter in this section starts with how an audit department should be organized, where it should be in the corporate structure, its charter, policies and personnel. A good amount of focus is given to the responsibilities, duties and roles of internal audit managers and the CAE, as well as their relationships with external auditors and regulators. An excellent section devoted to audit planning, scoping and implementing is also included (which is later expanded in part three), giving the new manager a quick snapshot of these subjects if they have not obtained it elsewhere. For me, the best chapter in this part of the book is the chapter on Personnel, Administration, and Recruiting, dealing with performance evaluations and overall staff development.
The third part of the book focuses on Technical Procedures. This part makes generous use of sample forms and templates, giving the reader a head start on the creation of these, when needed. The three chapters composing this part of the book are in my opinion, the best coverage of Audit Planning, Audit Performance and Audit Reporting I’ve seen in a book anywhere. A manager who understands these three chapters is qualified to lead any audit department without worry. The coverage on Materiality, Workpapers and Reports to Management and Audit Committees is magnificent. The authors cover the relevant GAAP, SEC and AICPA procedures, pronouncements and guidance related to these important issues with clarity and directness, making the material digestible and easy to follow (the book was written in 2003, so readers need to read up on all relevant updates to be current).
The last part of the book deals with the Long-Term Effectiveness of a corporate audit department, an area many new directors and managers do not focus on very well, because they tend to focus on the “here and now,” but impacts how others see them and measure their success. Here, the authors cover Corporate Governance issues, Quality Assurance, Continuous Improvement systems and Marketing the Audit Function. These discussions increase the awareness of the “marketing” process to new audit managers who need to sell themselves, as much as what they do, in order to succeed in the organization.
I will conclude this very positive review by saying that having this book is like having a well rounded and dependable subject matter expert in audit management at you disposal each and every time you need a quick answer. If you are a new audit director or audit manager, the book will save you countless hours of research time and frustrations.
To purchase “Managing the Internal Audit Function” visit Today’s Audit Journal’s Bookstore
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