As I mentioned in the introduction, lean auditing offers much more than simply a more efficient and effective way of carrying out internal audits. Given the unique role of internal audit it is possible to see a “cascade effect” in which new ways of working by audit have a wider impact on organizations. This effect will not simply derive from more impactful audit assignments, but also from the way that audit sees its role and leads organizational changes through its influence over key stakeholders.
To explain how this cascade works, I will outline the key hallmarks of a lean progressive approach to audit. I will then describe how this approach can impact other functions, such as compliance and risk (sometimes called the “second line of defence”), as well as management and staff (sometimes called the “first line of defence”).
In my experience, these include: