By Robert Moeller

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In its most extreme form, the so-called operational auditing function would disassociate itself entirely from the so-called financial areas. They would claim, for example, to have no expertise on the financial controls surrounding an accounts receivable operation. Rather, they might look at process controls and ignore the issue of whether the cash received was properly recorded and tied to financial accounts, including the general ledger. Management often became confused and dismayed when their internal auditors all but ignored these important accounting or financialrelated issues.

This means that management decisions reflect the levels of risk deemed to be acceptable to the particular responsible manager. Managers and their overall organization have varying appetites for risk, and each manager must make evaluations within the parameters of decision authority and risk preferences. The effective internal auditor should have a good understanding of this risk assessment process. Chapter 5, “Understanding and Assessing Risks: Enterprise Risk Management,” discusses the entire process of evaluating risk in the context of the COSO Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) framework.

The problems of management are complex and continually changing in light of both internal and external environmental factors. This means that management increasingly needs the assistance of internal auditors and, in many cases, will welcome it when the ability and credibility of the internal audit function is established. It is a continuing challenge to internal auditors to render assistance to management through effective and significant audit recommendations. ENDNOTES 1 See Chapter 12, “Internal Audit Professional Standards,” for an overview of IIA professional standards.

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