A New Accounting Culture ( JofA, Oct.02, page 27) was an important call to action for CPAs overall. In my more than two decades of experience as an internal auditor, I have witnessed too many times when CPAs took the expedient route over the proper one because of fees, friendships or other business entanglements. Those times are changing.
My sole disappointment with the article was that not once did it mention the need for close, professional cooperation between external CPAs and the internal auditors in an organization. Unfortunately, it has been my experience that too often external CPAs view internal auditors as the poor sisters who couldnt cut it in public accounting. This belief could not be further from the truth.
External CPAs should consider internal auditors a key professional resourceone that knows the internal workings and culture of an organization in a manner external CPAs could never realize within the time available.
External CPAs also should actively solicit and involve the internal auditors as true partners in the audit process. An internal auditor would provide the impetus toward change needed in a companys internal controls and ethicschanges that internal and external auditors identify together. Coordination by external CPAs with internal auditorsand mutual respectwould make a leadership role involving internal control systems (as the article recommends is essential) so much easier to achieve for all CPAs and provide the full benefit of what the public needs so desperately today.
Holdegraver, CPA, CFE