Transparency in Relationships

One of my favorite courses I have developed is the Auditor In-Charge (AIC) course. It is such a pivotal role inside the internal audit department and it is the real growth point in an auditor’s career: can they step into the key project manager role and excel and continue to move up or do they begin to stagnate? I have found a few suggestions I make in class unique and not done enough by AIC’s. They all deal with transparency.

I focus on the term transparency with two main “clients” – your management and your auditee’s management. First, lets talk about the auditee’s management.

Auditors must strive to be as transparent as possible. This breeds trust and an builds an honest relationship between the two parties. What does this mean? Auditors must, at a minimum, do the following:

– Discuss observations and issues as they occur. Use the discussion to confirm the issue as soon as possible and then move them past the fact there is an issue.

– Meet with auditees frequently and have a standard status update document to review as efficiently as possible. Leave nothing to chance.


As important is working with your manager to make sure you are on the same page with them. I frequently ask how many attendees have asked their supervisor “What do I have to specifically do to be successful here?” This is a simple question that should involve a discussion outside of the normal job duties and job description. Discuss what are their pet peeves and what you can do to make their life easier. Ultimately, this is a large facet of your job – making the people above us lives’ easier.

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