Jamming With Jason E38: Showing Your Value to Management

If you are like most internal auditors, you’ve probably experienced feeling ignored or under appreciated by management, and it doesn’t feel very good at all. We do have an opportunity to become more aligned with the key objectives of our organization, provide more value and feel confident and valued.

In this week’s episode of #jammingwithjason I discuss a few of the many things you need to do to show your value to management including: tooting your own horn, not placing so much influence on being independent, and focusing our attention of the areas your stakeholders believe are valuable.

If you want the trust and respect of management, you need risk-based internal auditing.

Since we are coming to the end of the year, make sure to take some time this week to feel and express gratitude for all you have and for those important people in your life. It will not only make you feel better, but it will make the world a better place for everyone.

If you are the type of person who would like step-by-step processes on how to improve your risk-based internal audit approach AND show your value to management, the new Certified Risk Based Internal Auditor (cRBIA) training and certification offered through cRisk Academy in right for you.

https://ondemand.criskacademy.com/p/certified-risk-based-internal-auditor-crbia/?affcode=105582_jpp6czlf?product_id=1405370&coupon_code=EARLY

Register this week, and you will receive the bonus module on “Demonstrating Your Value to Management” an in-depth discussion on this topic that discusses tips we couldn’t cover during this week’s episode.

When you enroll in the course before the end of November you also get a 60% discount when you use coupon code: EARLY

To take advantage of the 50% off cRisk Academy on-demand courses during the month of November mentioned during the episode, use this link: http://bit.ly/criskacademy and use coupon code: JAMMING2019 when you register for a course.

Transcript

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Jason Mefford: Welcome back to another episode of jamming with Jason. Hey, my friends. I’m so glad to have you here with me this week.

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Jason Mefford: You know, before we get started into our discussion today. I just wanted to take a moment and pause and express some gratitude.

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Jason Mefford: And the reason for that is I am very grateful for what I have now in the United States. We have a holiday called Thanksgiving, which happens to be on Thursday of this week.

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Jason Mefford: Now Thanksgiving, you know, traditionally, it’s a time since we’re in the Northern Hemisphere, where

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Jason Mefford: You know, in the old days, the farmers would have brought in the crops were kind of done harvesting everything

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Jason Mefford: And it’s really a time to kind of pause at that point and just be grateful or thankful for everything that we do have

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Jason Mefford: So I wanted to pause today in kind of the spirit of thanksgiving for this week and just express some gratitude.

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Jason Mefford: So first off I’m grateful that you are listening to me. I’m grateful that were able to, through the use of technology be able to record and share this information with literally

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Jason Mefford: People all over the world. I’m very grateful for that. You know, I’m grateful for the life that I have that I’m able to live here in California.

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Jason Mefford: That I have a beautiful wife and great life here. I’m really grateful for all of the experiences and knowledge that I’ve gained over the years.

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Jason Mefford: You know, some people asked me, they say, Hey, Jason, how, how did you come up with a risk based internal audit framework as an example.

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Jason Mefford: And you know, I can say, well, look, it’s really from 25 plus years of studying of putting things into practice. And actually, you know, exercising and and and going through experiences.

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Jason Mefford: But it’s also 25 plus years of making some mistakes and you know I’m also grateful for the mistakes that I’ve made throughout my life because

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Jason Mefford: Excuse me. I’ve been able to grow from that. So again, like I said, I just wanted to start off, you know, at the beginning of this episode express gratitude to you and also

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Jason Mefford: You know, encourage you this week as well to express your gratitude to those people in your life that mean a lot to you and just kind of stop in a reflection.

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Jason Mefford: And realize how much you really do have, you know, so much of the time we can we can get caught up in these feelings of lack and, oh, I don’t have this yet, or I haven’t accomplished that.

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Jason Mefford: But it really is good for us to stop and pause and remember how blessed. We are and how grateful we can be for everything that we do have

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Jason Mefford: Now, probably in a future episode I’ll explain a little bit more about gratitude because actually gratitude is one of the emotions because you’ll hear me talk more about emotional intelligence as well.

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Jason Mefford: But gratitude is is one of the highest vibration frequency emotions that we can feel it’s it’s right up there at the top. So the more time that you can actually spend feeling grateful.

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Jason Mefford: The happier you will be and the easier, your life will be as well. Okay, so that’s kind of the start. Now let’s get into what we’re actually talking about today.

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Jason Mefford: And that is about showing your value to management. Now I’ve worked with a lot of Chief audit executives and internal auditors all over the world.

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Jason Mefford: And, you know, one of the things that I I see them or or hear them saying, often is, you know, I feel frustrated or I am ignored by management.

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Jason Mefford: And you know when when you feel ignored that really, you know, it leads to those feelings of kind of being left out about not being valued and it really sucks. Okay.

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Jason Mefford: You know better would be, you know, where we have an opportunity. Instead of feeling frustrated or ignored.

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Jason Mefford: We have an opportunity to actually align better with management and actually be able to provide more value. Now, that feels way better. Right. We feel more confident

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Jason Mefford: We feel more valued and really, you know, it can help us and going into the office every day or every week because we actually feel valued. We’re confident in what we’re doing.

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Jason Mefford: And we’re happy to actually be providing the value that we know internal audit can provide to our organizations and that is such a great feeling.

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Jason Mefford: Now, I’ve been working really hard to get the Certified Risk Based internal auditor course up and going, and it is it’s it’s really ready now.

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Jason Mefford: As you’re hearing this, so you can go out and actually get registered. But the reason why I’m bringing that up is

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Jason Mefford: You know so many people have have kind of expressed some of these these feelings of wanting to show or prove their value to management.

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Jason Mefford: That one of the things that I decided to do as I as I finished up the course was to actually include a bonus module on how to demonstrate your value to management.

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Jason Mefford: And again, as I said, So many people have kind of expressed this to me that I thought, you know what, I’m going to take and record a special module.

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Jason Mefford: Just to help you go through and kind of understand better how to do this. Now I’m going to talk a little bit about it today on the podcast but really if you want

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Jason Mefford: The deeper dive on this and actually learn how to do this, how to calculate it, how to do kind of all of this step by step stuff.

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Jason Mefford: If you’re interested in that. If you’re the kind of person that would like to have more of that information.

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Jason Mefford: As I said, that is a free bonus now in the new Certified Risk Based internal auditor course.

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Jason Mefford: And I’m bringing this up again to because see risk Academy is running a special on this where you can save 60% on that course. But you have to register before the end of November.

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Jason Mefford: So what that means is, that’s this week. So if you want to be able to get this free bonus on how to demonstrate your value to management, make sure to register and sign up for that course this week.

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Jason Mefford: Okay, so let’s start jumping in now and talk more about how you can show your value to management.

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Jason Mefford: And before I get into that, you know, I can remember earlier in my career and there was a position, it was, it was kind of a, I had to apply for a it was kind of a community.

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Jason Mefford: Opportunity. Okay. And I had to create or fill out in the application to be accepted into this program.

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Jason Mefford: And I also needed to have besides that application I needed to have letters of reference. So people actually saying that hey, you know, Jason is a great guy, you should let them in this program.

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Jason Mefford: And so at the time I was working at Arthur Andersen. And I remember, you know, approaching our managing partner in the office at the time.

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Jason Mefford: And you know, I expressed to him because because he was encouraging me to reach out

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Jason Mefford: And get more involved in the community. And so I found this opportunity and I said, Hey Bruce, you know, I’m putting in for this, but I need to have a

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Jason Mefford: I need you to do a letter of recommendation for me for this. And I remember we were we were standing in the hallway in the office.

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Jason Mefford: And you know, when I asked him that question. It kind of scrunched up his, his face a little bit. He says, Jason. I’m not going to write you a letter of recommendation.

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Jason Mefford: At first I was like, What do you mean, you know, you’re asking me to do this. Why are you. Why are you unwilling to do this.

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Jason Mefford: And and i think he probably saw that I looked a little confused too. And that’s why he followed right up by saying, you know, Jason.

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Jason Mefford: I’m not gonna write it for you. You need to be comfortable in tooting your own horn. If you write it. I will sign it, but you need to be comfortable in actually you know tooting your own horn.

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Jason Mefford: Now, where to Tooting tooting your own horn comes from, you know, I’m a musician, as well as you know, the rock star and audit, but in playing the guitar. But I also play the trumpet.

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Jason Mefford: So when I was younger, I actually, you know, during grade school, middle school time I actually played in the school band and played trumpet.

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Jason Mefford: And so, you know, again it having a trumpet, or any other instrument doesn’t really do you any good unless you play it.

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Jason Mefford: And so, you know, this whole idea of tooting your own horn just means, you know, not in being like an egomaniac

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Jason Mefford: But in in just expressing or letting people know some of the good things that you’re doing. And so again, like that with that letter of recommendation, you know, he said look you know better than anybody else.

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Jason Mefford: Why you’re so good and so you know why and why you should qualify for this particular opportunity. So you go write the letter I will. I’ll read it. I’ll sign it, but I’m not going to take the time to do that, I want you to do that so that you can learn how to toot your own horn.

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Jason Mefford: So one of the things that I see often, you know, again, in, in discussing this, you know, how do you show your value to management.

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Jason Mefford: Well, one of the first things you have to do is you actually have to toot your horn. You actually have to let them know some of the good things that you’re doing.

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Jason Mefford: You have to be willing to actually share with them what you’re doing and some of the ways in which you have actually helped the organization.

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Jason Mefford: Now I know for most of us that have kind of gravitated into the internal audit space. We’re not these huge extroverts right we’re usually introverts.

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Jason Mefford: And it reminds me of an old joke. You know that. And this kind of goes to accountants, but it but it really kind of goes in line with auditors to and it goes like this. How can you tell the difference between an introverted accountant and an extroverted accountant.

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Jason Mefford: And the answer is the extroverted accountant is looking at your shoes. Okay, so, you know, we are not necessarily

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Jason Mefford: Programmed to go out into our horn. We’re just, you know, a lot of times in the background kind of doing our work doing what we need to do.

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Jason Mefford: But if you want people to value or recognize the value that you are creating or helping the organization with you’re actually going to have to be vocal about that.

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Jason Mefford: You’re actually going to have to find ways to be able to share that and again I go into, you know, more of the the ways that you can actually do that in that separate module, because I don’t have enough time.

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Jason Mefford: Today to get into everything, but you have to find a way to do that. So that’s the first thing.

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Jason Mefford: If you want to show your value to management. The first thing you need to do is start tooting your horn. OK. Now another thing that you need to do. And this gets back to some of the, the, the topics that we’ve discussed before around independence.

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Jason Mefford: And again, this is what I what I end up seeing, you know the the definition of internal auditing from the I starts off by saying

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Jason Mefford: In turn, a lot of is an independent and objective assurance and consulting function. Okay. And we focus a lot on those two words independent and objective.

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Jason Mefford: Well the truth is anybody who is objective can provide assurance, but because that word independent shows up before the word objective in the definition

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Jason Mefford: I think that we probably are focusing too much of our attention on trying to be independent. Now the word independent, you know, if you if you kind of think about the difference between independence and objectivity. You can think of independence, meaning freedom.

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Jason Mefford: Object objectivity being more unbiased right so objectivity kind of about the way in which we’re able to to perform our job being unbiased.

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Jason Mefford: Therefore, the conclusions that we’re making from our testing are unbiased and therefore are more valid. Now the independent side is the one where it gets a little bit tricky. Okay.

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Jason Mefford: Because the reality is most internal audit functions are not truly independent, you’re still working for the organization, you may say, you know, that you functionally report to the audit committee.

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Jason Mefford: But the reality is usually the administrative reporting executive is the one who’s determining compensation is determining and doing

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Jason Mefford: You know, things like performance evaluations as well. And so if you’re not as independent as we usually want to believe that we are okay. And I’ve talked about that before and you’re going to hear me.

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Jason Mefford: Excuse me, keep talking about that in the future.

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Jason Mefford: Now it is important and it’s good for us to have that direct reporting with the board or the audit committee.

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Jason Mefford: And the reason for that, again, is the independence is supposed to represent the freedom

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Jason Mefford: Freedom for us to decide the areas that we believe are most important to audit the freedom to audit it the way that we believe it needs to be audited.

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Jason Mefford: The freedom to make the conclusions and report the conclusions, the way we believe it needs to be done.

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Jason Mefford: And don’t get me wrong, that is important and it is it’s very, very beneficial for the organization. If we are both independent and objective.

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Jason Mefford: But as I said, I think a lot of times people think they’re more independent than they really are. And here’s where you get into trouble.

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Jason Mefford: Is sometimes there will be very well meaning chief executives or other auditors who believe in order for me to really be independent.

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Jason Mefford: I can only audit the areas that I think are important. I need to be the one that comes up with exactly what my audit plan is

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Jason Mefford: Nobody else really provides me with the input. Yes. Maybe I’ll ask you know to get some ideas, but it’s me. Who decides what I’m going to audit.

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Jason Mefford: And I’m going to do that based on what I think is most valuable for me to do in the in in the areas in my audit plan.

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Jason Mefford: So I’m going to come up with it. Then I’m going to get it approved right again. And a lot of times that’s just kind of rubber stamped and then I go out and I do my work.

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Jason Mefford: Here’s where the problem comes into that. If you believe or want to be so independent that you’re acting as like an independent island.

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Jason Mefford: Then what happens most often is others don’t see you as a team player, they don’t see you as someone who is really there to help the organization.

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Jason Mefford: They see you as someone that is trying to push a particular agenda. You know better than they do. And if you’ve ever met anybody that you’ve talked to

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Jason Mefford: That you believe thinks they are better than you. How do you feel you normally don’t like those people

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Jason Mefford: So as internal audit. If we continue to just try to play on this independence card and I know better. I’m going to audit this area. And if you don’t understand, well that’s just too bad.

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Jason Mefford: Then we’re going to have problems. Okay, so the second tip that I want to share with you today on how to show your value to management is actually focus on areas where they think there is value.

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Jason Mefford: And this is kind of the tie back into risk based internal auditing, you know, when we focus more

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Jason Mefford: On the key objectives of the organization on the things that management is most concerned about

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Jason Mefford: And are trying to help you know provide insight provide guidance provide assurance on those particular areas to help management do their job better

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Jason Mefford: They’re going to feel that we are much more valuable if they see us as a police officer that comes in and tries to catch people doing things wrong.

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Jason Mefford: And it’s because we think that this area is more important. And so we’re choosing to audit it

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Jason Mefford: You’re going to have a very different relationship with management and they’re probably not going to value what you are doing. If instead. If you take more of a risk based approach. If you are eliciting the

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Jason Mefford: Suggestions and trying to find out again and align your efforts with what management is concerned with

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Jason Mefford: It also aligns with what they think is valuable. And so again, as you’re doing work in those areas and you bring back your results.

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Jason Mefford: By their very nature of the work that you are doing. They’re going to see it as being more valuable. So let me just give you a crazy example right

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Jason Mefford: Let’s say that, you know, for some reason, we decided that payroll is a big risk and we need to go out and test all of these controls related to payroll.

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Jason Mefford: You know, because it represents a really big number in the organization. And so we go out. We do this audit we come back. Maybe we found some some issues.

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Jason Mefford: You know, and we report back to management and they and, you know, we’re really proud because we come back and we go, Hey, you know, we found

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Jason Mefford: Something like maybe $100,000 of an opportunity for the organization, right, that maybe some of the payroll was being done wrong and we can save the company or there’s some kind of value creation of $100,000

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Jason Mefford: So we take that, you know, we’re we’re proud of it. We report it back. And a lot of times the managers go yeah okay whatever. Right. Why are you dealing with that area.

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Jason Mefford: And we’re all proud of ourselves thinking. We’ll look I just saved the company and hundred thousand dollars.

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Jason Mefford: But management’s looking at us and saying, Why are you focusing on that area where you have $100,000 impact.

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Jason Mefford: I’ve got a 10 or 20 or $50 million impact over here that I’m worried about. So wouldn’t it be much better if we actually develop the relationship with management.

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Jason Mefford: And focus our efforts more on those higher exposure areas where they’re actually concerned.

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Jason Mefford: They’re going to find much more value to it. And also, we’re going to be focusing on areas where the impact or exposure level is much greater therefore also

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Jason Mefford: Showing or providing more value to the organization, you know, would you rather come back with a report that the saves the company $100,000 or one that helps them fix a $20 million problem.

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Jason Mefford: Well, I’d rather be on the 20 million side. Okay, so that’s kind of the second thing that I wanted to share with you today.

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Jason Mefford: And again, how, how to calculate that. How to do it kind of how to go through that whole process so that you’re

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Jason Mefford: You know, more risk based in what you’re doing, you’re aligning better with the key objectives and with what management is talking about. That’s really the whole

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Jason Mefford: Certified Risk Based in turn a lot of course I can’t teach you all of that in

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Jason Mefford: You know, in 20 or 30 minutes on a podcast but if you’ve got 28 hours to go through the course. I can teach you much, much more on that.

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Jason Mefford: So again, with that in in in that course as well. Like I said, I’m offering or providing a free bonus on

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Jason Mefford: A separate module on how to exactly go through and and calculate and show your value to management.

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Jason Mefford: You know, because we don’t need to keep going forward feeling like we’re ignored and left out, you know, we can align. We can become more confident

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Jason Mefford: We can feel valued. We just have to change a little bit of the way that we’re doing this.

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Jason Mefford: Now before I wrap up, I know there’s going to be some naysayers out there that are thinking, well, Jason, you can’t have your whole audit plan just what management wants you to do. That means that we’re not being independent

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Jason Mefford: Well, that’s not what I’m advocating I’m not advocating that everything on your audit plan is just some request from management.

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Jason Mefford: What I am advocating is that you actually understand your organization better

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Jason Mefford: And that you align more of what you are doing to what management really values because, again, if you want to be valued by management, you’ve got to be providing some value to them as well.

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Jason Mefford: Alright, so with that one. I think I’m going to kind of wrap up for this week’s episode, you know, as a reminder, as I started off with to begin with, you know,

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Jason Mefford: Take some time this week to actually pause and reflect in and see what you’ve been able to accomplish this last year and what you’re really grateful for, but take it to the next level. Don’t just feel the gratitude, but actually express the gratitude.

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Jason Mefford: So it should think about some of those important people in your life, you know, those can be co workers. Those could be friends that could be family.

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Jason Mefford: As you start thinking about what you’re grateful for, you know, you’re going to think of a name a face is going to pop into your head.

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Jason Mefford: Take some time this week to actually express authentic gratitude to them write them a card, send them a text an email, you know, whatever.

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Jason Mefford: But just let them know how grateful you are and how much you actually appreciate having them in your life. It not only helps you to feel more grateful, but it also reaches out and lifts up other people as well.

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Jason Mefford: And it makes a huge, huge impact in this world. So with that, my friends. We’re going to close up for today. That’s a wrap for this week. But go forth keep on rockin in the audit world be grateful and I will catch you on the next episode of jammin with Jason

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