Why Another Auditor Can’t Fix Your Audit Problems
By Michael T. Critelli/
April 15, 2016

Do either of these scenarios sound familiar?

Both of these are true stories. In each case, we’ve helped our client determine the root causes of deficiencies and implement the appropriate process solutions.

Those who come from the Big Four or another audit firm are familiar with the following audit process:

  1. Risk assessment and walk through: Identify and categorize risks (mostly using PCAOB guidance and previous audit results). Walk through the process and identify any other risks.
  2. Testing Plan: Identify sample sizes, timing, and test scripts.
  3. Test: Test the trial balance and internal controls.
  4. Results: Review with four levels of management and then offer an opinion.

This tried and true testing process allows the audit team to catch any significant errors or fraud. Auditors are trained to work long hours, know what’s needed, and find significant deficiencies. But they should not recommend changes or corrections, as this could create a serious conflict of interest. If they did, they would be met with the wrath of the PCAOB (the auditors’ auditor) and the Department of Justice!

This process is ingrained in the minds of external auditors and problems can arise if they join the industry or an advisory group. Many can break this mindset as they take on positions in industry. Yet for those who never leave audit, the find-the-problem mentality doesn’t morph into fix-the-problem.

Taking it even further, many audit and consulting firms employ the SALY method: Same As Last Year. This is a practice where the firm just repurposes deliverables from previous years or clients. This leads to deliverables that aren’t tailored to your needs or processes.

The Audit Mindset

Audit firms impact in the following ways when assisting clients with their internal controls framework:

Audit Mindset

Don’t hire an audit firm with the expectation that they will change/improve business processes.

Auditors have an ingrained methodology that works great for analyzing risk, but they miss out on the crucial piece of recommending and implementing changes. Even though more and more audit firms are getting involved in controls rollout, there is still a huge gap in their process and change management experience.

The Trenegy Mindset

Trenegy performs the critical tasks of remediating controls weaknesses with process solutions.

Trenegy Mindset audit

Trenegy is a management consulting firm that understands your business processes, systems, compliance requirements, and the proper way to roll out change while improving efficiencies.