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Lean Auditing: Driving Added Value and Efficiency in Internal Audit by James C. Paterson

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5 The Wider Benefits of a Lean Audit Approach – and How to Use This Book

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”).

Key Hallmarks of a Progressive Lean Audit Approach

In my experience, these include:

  • A recognition of the unique role that audit can and should play in providing an independent and objective perspective on Governance, Risk, Compliance (GRC) and the delivery of organizational performance;
  • An orientation towards adding value in everything that audit does;
  • Having a clear focus on ways of working that visibly and demonstrably add value, that drive out non value adding activity, and eliminate other waste (Muda);
  • Discharging the internal audit role in a pragmatic, but flexible way, with ...

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