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By Mary McVeigh, Beacon Mutual Insurance, Rhode Island
So, you just learned that Internal Audit is going to visit your department. Thatâ€™s great news! No, really, it IS!!
Donâ€™t let a planned internal audit cause sweaty palms, shaky knees, or an overall queasy stomach. Youâ€™ve got us all wrong! We are not nitpickers or bean counters. Most internal auditors I know are not difficult people. Weâ€™re not particularly snoopy, and weâ€™re certainly not your companyâ€™s version of the â€śSecret Police.â€ť
Hereâ€™s what we are, or at least what we want to be. We want to be your best friend. Really. We want what is best for you, your department, and your company. Weâ€™re not nosey, but we are interested. Weâ€™re interested in what is important to you, how you get things done, and how we can help.
Everyone needs that friend, the one person who will tell you that your favorite holiday outfit should have been shelved in 2006. You want the friend who will tell you when you have spinach in your teeth, or who will stop you from calling that old boyfriend, again. Your best friend looks out for your best interest, and your well-being is their only â€śskin in the game.â€ť
Meet your Internal Auditor. He or she wants your department and your company to meet its goals. Maybe youâ€™re looking to reduce medical bill expenses on claims. Maybe youâ€™d like to increase automation in the underwriting process, or maybe youâ€™re implementing a new AP system. Whatever your goal, Internal Audit wants to help you to identify the potential obstacles in your path. We want to work with you to remove those obstacles, or at least lower the barrier. If you give us a chance, you might even exceed your goals!
For instance, if youâ€™re looking to reduce medical expenses, Internal Audit could help identify medical bills paid after a cutoff date. We could help you review your current system to adjust medical invoices to the stateâ€™s fee schedule and make recommendations to improve automation. If youâ€™re looking to automate the underwriting process, Internal Audit could assist in evaluating how your department identifies policies for automated renewal and determine if all the appropriate policies are captured by the system. If youâ€™re implementing a new AP system, Internal Audit can assist in evaluating the roles assigned to various individuals in the AP department, ensuring proper segregation exists and increasing the likelihood of a successful implementation with only a few hiccups along the way.
Like a good friend, if you stumble, your internal auditor will be there to help you get up, dust yourself off, and help you find a clearer path ahead. We want to protect you from the people who arenâ€™t your friends, the people looking to thwart your hard work by bypassing policies and procedures, forgoing quality, or, even worse, committing fraud.
So, the next time Internal Audit knocks at your door, donâ€™t avoid us by saying youâ€™ll call, and then losing our number. Invite us in. Share your thoughts. Weâ€™ll listen. And, as Rick said to Louie in Casablanca, this could â€śbe the beginning of a beautiful friendship.â€ť