IIA Canada National Conference 2022

1.3 Auditing with Empathy: When Businesses Must Do Less with Less

17 Oct 2022
15:30 - 16:20

1.3 Auditing with Empathy: When Businesses Must Do Less with Less

Level: Basic / de base

Auditing with empathy is a skillset that I argue all auditors and leaders need to master. Our stakeholders/clients already know that they are doing things significantly different from the ‘standard operating procedure’ of pre-Covid. What they need to know now, and what auditors need to be mindful to communicate, is whether the choices they have and continue to make are the right ones given the circumstances. In other words, put yourself in their shoes and is it both understandable and reasonable why they made the decisions they did?

Below is a proposed summary of the presentation: 

Auditing with Empathy: When Businesses Must Do Less with Less

It’s been called the Great Resignation. No doubt triggered by the pandemic, various socioeconomic factors have given rise to a dramatic change in today’s workforce. Saying that companies just need to “do more with less” ignores deeper root causes. At a certain point, an organization may be forced to “do less with less”, deliberately scaling back its activities and controls just to survive. 

But this is not just a unique pandemic experience. Arguably, similar situations can exist when organizations face fundamental shifts in their respective external or internal environments, demanding a complete rethinking of how systems, processes, and people work together. Agility, experimentation, and iteration are needed not just to innovate, but to survive. 

What is the role of an auditor when an organization is in the midst of significant change? How does an auditor maintain objectivity, consistency, and credibility when a business fluctuates between being able to invest in comprehensive controls during “peacetime” vs. forced to give up some of those controls during chaotic change?

This presentation argues that by focusing on empathy, auditors will add more value to organizations forced to “do less with less”. Auditors must acknowledge where leaders, managers, and employees alike