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Accounting Best Practices, Fifth Edition by Steven M. Bragg Englewood, Colorado

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15–6. Train New Business Unit Managers on Control Issues

When new managers are assigned to a business unit, the last thing they want to see is an internal auditor walking in the door to conduct a review. Their experience is likely to be the uncovering of some shortfall in the control systems, resulting in a black mark against them while they are still struggling to learn the details of their jobs. In anticipation of this result, a new manager is likely to stonewall an internal auditor in hopes of avoiding any negative findings.

A more positive approach is for a senior-level internal auditor to meet with each new manager as part of the initial job training and spend a great deal of time discussing the control systems over which the manager now has responsibility. This discussion should include a hands-on review of each process step where control points are used, as well as conversations about the need for these controls, how to ensure that they are being followed, and indicators of control failures. The internal auditor can even point out other possible improvements in the manager’s systems. By taking this approach, the internal auditor will be seen as a strong advisor to new managers, and one with whom a long-standing and friendly relationship can be forged that will assist in the conduct of future audits. This approach completely contravenes the more adversarial situation that typically arises between a new manager and an internal auditor.

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