Internal audit reports have been written the same for decades, and honestly are usually very boring and don’t meet our organization’s needs. In this episode I talk with Tracie Marquart about action oriented recommendations, improving report writing to consider the end of the value chain, seeing the big picture, linking our work to assurance over key objectives, and how to make our reporting more collaborative.

Listen in at:

Tracie Marquardt is Europes leading audit communication consultant, and I am so honored to have her on #jammingwithjason #internalauditpodcast.

Learn more about Tracie at and or email her at: [email protected]



00:00:02.370 –> 00:00:13.740
Jason Mefford: Hey Welcome everybody. I have a very special treat for you today. I’ve got my friend, Tracy marquardt with me, and she is Europe’s leading audit communication consultant

00:00:14.219 –> 00:00:31.890
Jason Mefford: And I think when you hear her talk today, you’re going to realize she’s not just Europe’s leading audit communication consultant, but this lady has something that everybody throughout the whole world needs to listen to. So Tracy, welcome aboard. I’m glad to have you here.

00:00:32.310 –> 00:00:34.170
Tracie Marquardt: Hey, Jason. Thanks so much for the great

00:00:34.170 –> 00:00:43.410
Jason Mefford: Introduction. Well, you know, it’s true. I mean, as we, as we’ve talked a few times, because we’ve known each other now for for six months, like that.

00:00:44.040 –> 00:00:45.930
Jason Mefford: Having Catholic communications, it was

00:00:47.220 –> 00:00:48.810
Jason Mefford: very apparent that

00:00:50.070 –> 00:00:51.750
Jason Mefford: Because it’s

00:00:53.490 –> 00:01:07.290
Jason Mefford: So much of what we’re doing is actually kind of on that same vein, and so I want to give you just an opportunity just to kind of explain to people a little bit about your background, maybe, and how you’re helping

00:01:08.640 –> 00:01:17.280
Jason Mefford: Internal Audit clients. Well, internal auditors when you throw the word cloud is in there. Right. It makes it seem like it’s something else. But yeah.

00:01:18.060 –> 00:01:32.280
Tracie Marquardt: Yeah, so I’m passionate about working with internal auditors around the world and I help them communicate their key messages clearly concisely and persuasively as they travel around the globe, because while there’s less travel at the moment.

00:01:32.760 –> 00:01:39.360
Tracie Marquardt: But, you know, for the last 10 years they aren’t sitting around in their offices or in their home countries anymore. And there’s so much globalization.

00:01:40.080 –> 00:01:53.400
Tracie Marquardt: My background is a CPA. So I’m from Canada and back in the day when I passed my exams. It was called chartered accountants and that’s what actually what I studied at university, I went to the first school of accountancy in Canada.

00:01:54.210 –> 00:02:09.240
Tracie Marquardt: And now we’re a CPA. So we’re a little bit more like the US Chartered Professional Accountant and I worked for one of the big for for several years and then I went to internal audit at one of the schedule be banks in Canada. So that’s a foreign owned bank.

00:02:10.050 –> 00:02:20.640
Tracie Marquardt: And then from there I went to the states and then I came to Europe. So I’m based out of Europe right now, but I’m actually kind of got one foot on both continents right now.

00:02:22.140 –> 00:02:31.170
Tracie Marquardt: And I started teaching, training and then consulting with internal audit in 2005 and I think I’ve trained

00:02:32.490 –> 00:02:45.690
Tracie Marquardt: Somewhere around 3500 Internal Auditors on how to communicate their key messages to get more impact and to get action taken and more cooperation and those kinds of things. So it’s very exciting and

00:02:46.290 –> 00:02:53.280
Tracie Marquardt: You know, I do it because I wasn’t internal auditor. I believe in what the mission of internal audit and I

00:02:53.820 –> 00:03:05.760
Tracie Marquardt: Think that internal audit is, you know, ideally positioned to facilitate positive change in the organizations and I want to help them do that through their communication because ultimately I think we can change the world with positive communication.

00:03:06.660 –> 00:03:11.220
Jason Mefford: We can, in fact, that’s, that’s one of those things where we’re like so closely aligned. Right.

00:03:11.610 –> 00:03:14.370
Jason Mefford: Yeah, but it’s funny because

00:03:15.990 –> 00:03:25.830
Jason Mefford: You know, and we’ll go down, probably a couple of different paths, but I every so often. I’ll just kind of, I’m going to stop here and kind of remind people of what they just heard, because

00:03:26.850 –> 00:03:47.670
Jason Mefford: I think sometimes, it kind of glosses over. So if for everybody that was listening Tracy has been doing this since 2005 that’s 15 years, folks. Okay, you don’t you don’t stay in this industry teaching thousands of people, if you’re not good at what you do. Right. So, so again,

00:03:48.000 –> 00:03:52.980
Jason Mefford: Tell everybody listen to Tracy. She knows what she’s talking about.

00:03:52.980 –> 00:03:58.950
Jason Mefford: Okay, and some so maybe we can get on and talk a little bit about communications because

00:03:59.400 –> 00:04:06.630
Jason Mefford: That’s one of those areas that I try to harp on with auditors, but a lot of people kind of you know they they they sit up and they do the little

00:04:07.260 –> 00:04:24.210
Jason Mefford: You know, well I communicate well what do you mean, right, I can write a report, but maybe let’s talk about communication a little bit because at least in my opinion. Most of the auto reports kind of suck from from from actually communication perspective.

00:04:25.410 –> 00:04:31.590
Jason Mefford: So maybe talk a little bit more about the difference between just writing a report versus actually communication.

00:04:32.820 –> 00:04:43.380
Tracie Marquardt: So I think, you know, I’ve seen thousands of audit reports, whether they’re from, you know, the companies that I work with, or their case studies that are written in the courses that I teach

00:04:44.760 –> 00:05:02.490
Tracie Marquardt: And there there are patterns. There are things that are common in all of them. And there are things that are commonly not done well in all of them. I would have to say right so you have things like the AIA attributes for writing findings.

00:05:04.140 –> 00:05:16.020
Tracie Marquardt: It’s great when they’re all there. And I certainly preach that is something that’s very persuasive and writing and it actually helps you take your reader through the finding take them by the hand down that

00:05:17.070 –> 00:05:29.940
Tracie Marquardt: That golden path you know where you can persuade them to say, Here are the facts. But it’s not just about the facts. This is the potential impact with either the potential benefits if you do something and getting them to writing

00:05:30.960 –> 00:05:35.130
Tracie Marquardt: I would say action oriented recommendations, where

00:05:36.390 –> 00:05:47.670
Tracie Marquardt: The auditor writing because actually thought about the deliverables that they’re going to look at to put a green checkmark beside this recommendation to say that it’s done.

00:05:49.140 –> 00:06:01.800
Tracie Marquardt: So communication in this audit reporting format isn’t just putting a lot of words on a page, you’ve really, you know, I think, was a Mark Twain, who said, I’m sorry. I didn’t have time to write a short letter.

00:06:02.400 –> 00:06:04.080
Jason Mefford: So I wrote your long one. Yes.

00:06:04.710 –> 00:06:11.430
Tracie Marquardt: long one. So, you know, it’s all about. It’s all about the planning. It’s all about the focus. It’s all about your critical thinking skills.

00:06:12.360 –> 00:06:20.490
Tracie Marquardt: You know i’m i’m not convinced that all auditors understand cause and how to identify cause and that they’re actually

00:06:21.030 –> 00:06:33.270
Tracie Marquardt: They should identify cause or, at least, you know, look at the do their five wise or that auditors really understand how to write risk statements and audit reports, and I think we still have a lot of work to do there. So,

00:06:34.680 –> 00:06:45.090
Tracie Marquardt: Communication isn’t just you know black on white words on a page, it’s thinking about how that message comes over thinking about the language. One of the things I teach is that every word should add value.

00:06:46.470 –> 00:07:00.000
Tracie Marquardt: In your audit report. And if it doesn’t, what do you do you take it out right and then that’s just the detailed part of the report. So when you get to the, you know, executive summary part of the report. It’s also really important to look at what are your stakeholders really need

00:07:01.050 –> 00:07:05.070
Tracie Marquardt: Why do your stakeholders even want to read your audit report, what’s in it for them.

00:07:05.790 –> 00:07:13.620
Jason Mefford: Well that’s, you know, and that’s an important question. Actually, that we need to ask more because I think most of the time, they don’t want to read a report right

00:07:13.950 –> 00:07:14.250
Tracie Marquardt: I don’t

00:07:15.210 –> 00:07:24.990
Jason Mefford: I don’t think they do. And so I know when we were talking before you you brought up kind of the comment or the, the term of collaborative audit report writing, which

00:07:25.200 –> 00:07:32.580
Jason Mefford: Which which I liked. I liked that concept. Now I know you know there may be some people that push back and go, oh, but if I’m independent, then

00:07:32.880 –> 00:07:47.550
Jason Mefford: The report has to be exactly the way I think it needs to be. I can’t get too much, you know, input from the audit client or I lose my independence, right, which I usually say hogwash to that anyway.

00:07:48.330 –> 00:07:56.040
Jason Mefford: But, but maybe kind of talk through what do you mean by collaborative audit report writing and how, how would that kind of look in an organization.

00:07:57.120 –> 00:07:59.970
Tracie Marquardt: So I think you can do it two ways.

00:08:01.020 –> 00:08:06.840
Tracie Marquardt: One of it is collaborative within the audit team. And then the other is collaborative with the audit client.

00:08:08.190 –> 00:08:22.620
Tracie Marquardt: Right. So for folks who shy away from even the idea of sitting down with audit clients and putting this together. You can still stick with your we write the report and the audit team. And then we presented to the client.

00:08:23.430 –> 00:08:30.360
Tracie Marquardt: It can often be a very long and painful process. And, you know, time to issuance is very important because you want to make sure those risks get covered

00:08:30.960 –> 00:08:37.560
Tracie Marquardt: And the longer you spend in this tedious back and forth review process within the internal audit team.

00:08:38.070 –> 00:08:47.820
Tracie Marquardt: And then, you know, the final report doesn’t look anything like the original draft and you get frustration and all these kinds of emotions from the part of the, the authors.

00:08:48.420 –> 00:08:55.680
Tracie Marquardt: I like the idea of putting the audit team into a room together and maybe they bring their own drops for their findings, maybe not. But typically

00:08:56.010 –> 00:09:03.090
Tracie Marquardt: The silos writing silos, I write my findings operates his findings Mary writes her findings. They go to the audit lead

00:09:03.720 –> 00:09:14.730
Tracie Marquardt: And then the audit lead has to put all these together, take the time to review. Make it cohesive and that’s the missing step. Quite often, to be honest, because they’re under so much time pressure

00:09:15.180 –> 00:09:26.520
Tracie Marquardt: They don’t actually have time to go into everything in detail. And then that goes up for review comes back with up for next review and next review and comes back and it’s just a vicious cycle downward spiral.

00:09:27.600 –> 00:09:39.120
Tracie Marquardt: So I like the idea of putting all the auditors in a room and using some of the concepts from, dare I say agile, where you have one person in the room who’s leading

00:09:39.630 –> 00:09:49.650
Tracie Marquardt: It doesn’t have to be the team lead, it can be one of the auditors on the team and you go through finding by finding because for either six or eight eyes are better than two.

00:09:50.580 –> 00:09:59.610
Tracie Marquardt: Right, and you start to say, Wait, we didn’t really get caused there or that’s not really a risk. Well, that’s a realized risk. So what is actually the risk

00:10:00.060 –> 00:10:08.370
Tracie Marquardt: If we don’t fill the gap, that kind of thing or is is that recommendation really measurable or your sentences are all you know 57 words long.

00:10:08.910 –> 00:10:18.240
Tracie Marquardt: You start to see these things as a group, which you can’t see on your own. When you’re writing and this creates a more cohesive report and to be honest, you can lock the door and say, Okay, everybody.

00:10:20.130 –> 00:10:28.590
Tracie Marquardt: Come out when it’s done or in this virtual world that we have. You can set aside, you know, to our blocks and have everyone focus on

00:10:29.160 –> 00:10:40.680
Tracie Marquardt: On these findings until they’re done. And then, of course, have a separate session, maybe for the executive summary. So there’s that kind of collaborative, which gets it done and written quickly at a higher quality.

00:10:41.760 –> 00:10:52.980
Tracie Marquardt: consistency across all the findings or you can then take it. The next step, which I think we’re not quite there yet as a as an industry is to collaborate with

00:10:54.150 –> 00:11:00.060
Tracie Marquardt: The audit clients in terms of writing the findings. So that’s a new concept that we’re talking about.

00:11:01.200 –> 00:11:11.820
Tracie Marquardt: And sitting down and saying, okay, these the fast and green the risks together and agreeing to write, you know, the recommendations are the actions based on your recommendations together and then having a report.

00:11:12.480 –> 00:11:17.100
Jason Mefford: Well, and I personally think that is the way that we need to go.

00:11:18.150 –> 00:11:27.420
Jason Mefford: In, not just the long term future. But, but pretty short term midterm. We need to start getting to that point because as you were talking, it reminded me

00:11:28.590 –> 00:11:40.860
Jason Mefford: Chief audit executive, I was talking to, we’re talking about report writing and some of the things that he done he done some innovative things, you know, really moved what he had done for word from

00:11:41.550 –> 00:11:52.890
Jason Mefford: You know, kind of the very traditional Otter report writing when he took over to something that was you know much more enjoyed by by the people reading it.

00:11:53.340 –> 00:11:55.500
Tracie Marquardt: Okay, that’s an interesting word enjoyed

00:11:56.310 –> 00:12:11.220
Jason Mefford: Well, that’s what as far as I know, but but but but some of the changes, he had made actually provided them with him from better information so they actually could do something about it. Yeah, okay, and

00:12:11.580 –> 00:12:13.200
Tracie Marquardt: That what’s important.

00:12:13.620 –> 00:12:26.430
Tracie Marquardt: Versus. Exactly. So when we, when we talked about, you know, writing for the stakeholder what what are the stakeholders need to do with that report. What does the board want from that report. They need to know what they need to do. Yeah.

00:12:27.660 –> 00:12:36.690
Jason Mefford: Well, so it’s funny because we were talking about, like I said, you know, the progress that he had made. And then he came back to me about a month, month afterwards because we talked a little bit about agile.

00:12:37.230 –> 00:12:40.380
Jason Mefford: And how, you know, if you take on a full agile.

00:12:40.410 –> 00:12:49.140
Jason Mefford: Approach. In the long term, it’s going to fundamentally change how we write the reports, how we how we do the audit. Some of the stuff like that.

00:12:49.710 –> 00:12:56.910
Jason Mefford: So they went back and kind of as a test case they did it with with this one audit. They were working on through this pandemic type

00:12:57.870 –> 00:13:08.190
Jason Mefford: Type. Great. Right. And he said, so we actually, we did it more agile base, we were writing, you know, kind of like the little mini reports every week or whatever. And he’s like,

00:13:08.520 –> 00:13:16.230
Jason Mefford: When we finished the audit. It was all done. He’s like, I never even thought we could do that. I’m like, huh, kind of funny. I told you that to probably work.

00:13:17.130 –> 00:13:35.040
Jason Mefford: So it’s, it’s, I think that’s one of those opportunities for us in the future to be able to do that more that that also, you know, it ties in more the engagement of the client as well.

00:13:35.280 –> 00:13:37.440
Jason Mefford: Because they’re more invested in it.

00:13:37.920 –> 00:13:47.970
Jason Mefford: They, they actually care instead of you just showing up with some novel that you’ve written that’s 100 pages long. And they’re like, oh boy. I don’t have time to read this, right.

00:13:49.470 –> 00:13:51.330
Jason Mefford: So yeah, so I like, I like that term.

00:13:51.690 –> 00:13:54.390
Tracie Marquardt: Collaborative not vested are they otherwise.

00:13:54.570 –> 00:13:55.200
Jason Mefford: No they’re not. No.

00:13:55.440 –> 00:14:02.370
Tracie Marquardt: They’re more worried about about, you know, the volume of findings and the rating of the findings and the rating for

00:14:03.180 –> 00:14:06.240
Jason Mefford: Well, and often it almost feels like they’re getting in trouble.

00:14:07.110 –> 00:14:23.160
Jason Mefford: Absolutely right. When, when you when you write it that way. Now, to go back just briefly on you know what you were talking about with the with the audit team kind of locking themselves away. That’s a great, great idea, right, I mean everybody should start doing that because

00:14:24.210 –> 00:14:34.980
Jason Mefford: You know, as you said, usually the report is written by several different people. And so if you just stick it together. There is no cohesiveness to the report.

00:14:35.880 –> 00:14:42.540
Jason Mefford: There’s no cohesiveness in the, in the way that maybe the the findings or recommendations are written either

00:14:43.380 –> 00:15:03.480
Jason Mefford: Because it’s done by each group, but it also helps provide that QA portion that we’re supposed to be doing anyway. Right. And I’m guessing to it’s probably quicker than the normal you know review notes and passing back and forth kind of that we’ve been used to as well.

00:15:03.930 –> 00:15:17.940
Tracie Marquardt: It’s faster higher quality consistent quality I talked about consistency, a lot when I talk about reporting of auto results consistency is is key. You know, it’s that old concept of one face to the customer, you still have voices within

00:15:19.230 –> 00:15:19.470
Tracie Marquardt: Me.

00:15:20.640 –> 00:15:27.090
Tracie Marquardt: But, but your audit clients when they get a report they know where to look. They know the quality that they’re going to get, and they can see

00:15:27.450 –> 00:15:37.890
Tracie Marquardt: The professionalism of the team that went into it and the value that they’re going to get out of it for the business as well as for the audit clients on that specific object audit object so

00:15:39.000 –> 00:15:47.280
Tracie Marquardt: Yeah, I’d like to see more do it some do it. Some are trying it. I’d also like to see some clients. Try the collaborative with

00:15:49.020 –> 00:15:54.690
Tracie Marquardt: Or so audit teams. Try the collaboration with with their audit clients and I haven’t seen a lot of it yet, but I have hope.

00:15:55.860 –> 00:15:57.840
Jason Mefford: Well, and it’s, you know, for everybody listening.

00:15:58.860 –> 00:16:09.180
Jason Mefford: You don’t have to go change all your department policies, but just just try it. Try some of these things once or twice and see how they work.

00:16:09.660 –> 00:16:20.250
Jason Mefford: You know, chances are you’re going to be surprised, like that chief executive. I was talking to him. He’s kind of like, Hmm, maybe we’ll just have to go this way, going forward. I’m like, Yeah, right.

00:16:21.090 –> 00:16:23.880
Tracie Marquardt: There is no growth without change. Yep.

00:16:25.050 –> 00:16:28.020
Tracie Marquardt: So, so let’s let’s keep growing and creating

00:16:29.190 –> 00:16:37.080
Jason Mefford: Very, very true. Well, I know you know you’ve got some other stuff coming up to that I wanted to make sure that we

00:16:37.500 –> 00:16:52.650
Jason Mefford: Before we run out of time. We still got time, but I wanted to make sure because I know you’ve, you’ve been in involved and kind of this women in audit leadership which so so maybe talk about that a little bit because again that’s

00:16:53.910 –> 00:16:56.610
Jason Mefford: I’m not a woman, but I

00:16:58.170 –> 00:16:59.100
Jason Mefford: Don’t know if that’s a shock.

00:17:01.980 –> 00:17:02.490
Jason Mefford: But

00:17:03.780 –> 00:17:12.990
Jason Mefford: But I think that, you know, again, there are some really kick ass women leaders in audit that are out there. And I think you know that more

00:17:13.620 –> 00:17:23.790
Jason Mefford: More opportunities, need to be our profession has been driven too long. By hold men and having more women in active leadership roles.

00:17:24.240 –> 00:17:33.750
Jason Mefford: Is what our profession needs. Right, so maybe maybe talk a little bit about that because I wanted to be able to give that that little plug out there to for everybody who’s listening.

00:17:34.290 –> 00:17:48.300
Tracie Marquardt: Sure. Thank you. Well, I’d like to actually tell you where my interest started or deepened me and last year in 2019 I spoke at the GR C conference in Florida.

00:17:49.020 –> 00:17:56.820
Tracie Marquardt: And my topic was strategies and insights for communicating with the board and at the end of my presentation, I asked.

00:17:58.170 –> 00:18:09.510
Tracie Marquardt: If anyone would like to come and have some hot seat feedback they could come in after the talk and tell me what their issue is with the board and I would give them one thing in like two minutes that they could do differently to help them communicate

00:18:09.840 –> 00:18:13.200
Tracie Marquardt: More effectively with the board. And in fact,

00:18:14.640 –> 00:18:19.110
Tracie Marquardt: 85% of the people that came to see me where women.

00:18:20.850 –> 00:18:35.340
Tracie Marquardt: So I so obviously after the fact. I started to reflect because, you know, I work with audit community communication all the time and strategies and techniques and insights and you know tips and do’s and don’ts. The whole the whole gamut.

00:18:36.720 –> 00:18:58.290
Tracie Marquardt: But I think that perhaps a women are underserved and audit leadership and I would like to be more of service. So I started talking to Sheena machete who you know recently left the Institute, and I’m going to be speaking at the women in audit leadership conference on September 16

00:18:59.730 –> 00:19:04.350
Tracie Marquardt: And my topic for that one is going to be influence influential communication strategies.

00:19:05.580 –> 00:19:15.510
Tracie Marquardt: And it’s actually a breakout session, so it’s it’s running twice, but it’s a to our breakout session where we’re going to talk about some of the strategies and then we’re going to actually break out and work with some of those strategies and come back together.

00:19:15.900 –> 00:19:19.890
Tracie Marquardt: And then see where we go in the future. So for me, it’s very, very exciting.

00:19:21.960 –> 00:19:27.720
Tracie Marquardt: To actually be able to support women in audit leadership in this way. So we’re really looking forward to that session.

00:19:28.320 –> 00:19:33.090
Jason Mefford: Well, and I’m glad that you’re doing it because like I said, I think it is an underserved market.

00:19:34.560 –> 00:19:43.620
Jason Mefford: You know, I’ve, I’ve had similar things. You know, you said it but probably 85% of the people that came up and asked were actually women.

00:19:44.100 –> 00:20:02.790
Jason Mefford: Yeah, so I see it kind of in two ways right underserved market. Yes, but also women are much better than men at, at, you know, sometimes, sometimes men. So what else all oh bag on the men because I’m a man, and I can do that. Right.

00:20:03.300 –> 00:20:04.380
Jason Mefford: You can to

00:20:05.520 –> 00:20:06.090
Jason Mefford: Thank you for

00:20:06.840 –> 00:20:07.800
Tracie Marquardt: Raising see me.

00:20:11.790 –> 00:20:29.040
Jason Mefford: But, but, you know, to too much of the time men think that they already know it or they don’t want anybody to know that they don’t know and it’s it’s a it’s a travesty for men, but I think women.

00:20:30.840 –> 00:20:41.640
Jason Mefford: They want to improve. They want to do things different they want they want, you know, all of these things that we’re talking about, like, more collaboration more, you know, all this stuff that

00:20:42.330 –> 00:20:55.500
Jason Mefford: And there’s been lots of research done you know companies with a higher proportion of women in board seats in an executive sea level positions perform better over the long term. Hey, I mean it’s

00:20:55.740 –> 00:21:07.440
Jason Mefford: It’s pretty clear and the end there’s a lot of reasons for it. So yeah, I’m, I’m glad that you’re that you’re helping i’ve i’ve seen more women from mice my standpoint to actually reaching out

00:21:08.100 –> 00:21:19.320
Jason Mefford: And it’s an area where. Yeah. So if you can be on. You said it’s the September 16 and 17th, and we’ll try to include a link it down below to so that if you want to participate in that.

00:21:19.920 –> 00:21:22.500
Tracie Marquardt: Yeah, the conference has gone virtual so

00:21:23.400 –> 00:21:25.440
Jason Mefford: Like pretty much everything else this year.

00:21:25.500 –> 00:21:34.380
Tracie Marquardt: Like pretty much everything as this year, but I’m really, I’m really pleased, so far it’s still running because it’s it’s I think it’s such an important topic, and this is the third year, I believe.

00:21:35.160 –> 00:21:44.190
Tracie Marquardt: They’ve run it. So they’ve expanded it, or at least one it was face to face. They expanded it to a day and a half. I haven’t heard that that’s changing or anything right now. So, okay.

00:21:44.580 –> 00:21:45.480
Jason Mefford: Great, great, great.

00:21:46.650 –> 00:21:53.670
Jason Mefford: Alright well. So Tracy. What else should we talk about because I know y’all got it. We’ve got a few minutes. A few minutes left here. I know you’ve done a lot of

00:21:54.150 –> 00:22:02.520
Jason Mefford: Work with communication and report writing what what are, what are what’s maybe something else that you know in our last little bit of time together to

00:22:03.330 –> 00:22:12.330
Jason Mefford: To impart some wisdom out to people you’ve given them some great ideas for going back rethinking a little bit about their, their report writing

00:22:13.620 –> 00:22:19.290
Jason Mefford: In and just try a couple of things I know you’ve got some new stuff that’s going to be coming out shortly to to help people more

00:22:19.860 –> 00:22:20.130

00:22:21.600 –> 00:22:28.830
Tracie Marquardt: Yeah, they can stay tuned for that on Otter report writing, they’ll definitely be some, you know, a webinar made available to everyone and then

00:22:29.190 –> 00:22:39.270
Tracie Marquardt: Of course, coming out in the future, but the hot topic right now, I think, is persuading and I don’t know if you saw the video that Richard chambers did last week or so. So

00:22:39.300 –> 00:22:40.380
Tracie Marquardt: By the time this airs

00:22:41.190 –> 00:22:43.680
Jason Mefford: I did not catch the video last week.

00:22:44.250 –> 00:22:56.160
Tracie Marquardt: And he talked about the importance of persuading for internal auditors and that’s something that I’ve been, you know, preaching. I guess you could say for some time now and

00:22:57.030 –> 00:23:06.840
Tracie Marquardt: I’m running my webinar by the time this airs, the webinar will have run for the third time already. And it’s, it’s a really about influencing without authority.

00:23:07.230 –> 00:23:07.560
Jason Mefford: And

00:23:08.010 –> 00:23:21.420
Tracie Marquardt: And it’s from, from my perspective, there’s so much that we can do with our communication to to help others I and I like the term ethical influencing because never do you want to manipulate or or

00:23:22.110 –> 00:23:37.020
Tracie Marquardt: Or have someone end up with a negative outcome as a result of them being influenced by what you’re doing. So you want to show why something is a great idea in terms of your recommendation or in terms of getting documents, whatever it is, and

00:23:39.450 –> 00:23:59.730
Tracie Marquardt: Yeah, so I look at it as not just identifying the risks because I know that’s really important, but I also look at it as showing the benefits. I like to talk about, you know, the transformed world. So if you can help someone visualize

00:23:59.820 –> 00:24:18.360
Tracie Marquardt: That didn’t the transformed world that can exist if they put these recommendations in place if they take the action that needs to be taken. Right. And of course, you want to be able to explain, you know, the short term pain that will get them to this transform world, etc, etc.

00:24:20.580 –> 00:24:36.690
Tracie Marquardt: But when people can see, you know, what is and what could be. So what is is what you see right this is this is classic condition from the IRA attributes. This is what it is. Yeah, the transformed world. We don’t often really talk about

00:24:37.590 –> 00:24:44.730
Tracie Marquardt: Why, why couldn’t we talk about what could be if you take these actions. Right.

00:24:45.600 –> 00:25:03.930
Tracie Marquardt: So definitely, I like to incorporate some of these more marketing type concepts. You know what persuades people it’s pain. Its pleasure. You know, it’s pride its productivity its profitability. It’s all these I have six key words for that. And I think I’ve only got five on top of my head.

00:25:04.890 –> 00:25:13.080
Tracie Marquardt: But you know, it’s like it’s like me and you don’t you don’t use all of them. You look you look at the person that you’re going to be

00:25:13.530 –> 00:25:24.870
Tracie Marquardt: Communicating with and you see, you know, so what motivates Jason, you know. So if I wanted to persuade you to do something or influence, I might. I might think about what what motivates you.

00:25:25.530 –> 00:25:33.780
Tracie Marquardt: Because what motivates you may not motivated me, although I do think we have some similarities in terms of, you know, taking the the audit industry forward and to create and innovate.

00:25:35.730 –> 00:25:48.450
Tracie Marquardt: And then just crafting your, your, your argumentation to so that it resonates with the other person so that elevates everybody right with the solution. So that’s, that’s what I love about it.

00:25:49.170 –> 00:25:53.640
Jason Mefford: Well, and I like I usually use the word influence because I like

00:25:53.910 –> 00:25:57.660
Jason Mefford: You know, Bob chilled dinis work that he’s kind of done around that.

00:25:58.080 –> 00:25:58.440
Jason Mefford: But

00:25:59.010 –> 00:26:04.830
Jason Mefford: You know whether you use Word persuasion, whether you, you know, call it influence ethical influencing

00:26:06.960 –> 00:26:07.230
Jason Mefford: Yeah.

00:26:08.430 –> 00:26:13.200
Jason Mefford: I’m glad that somebody else is talking about this now, too, because I know you and I have been talking about this for years.

00:26:13.530 –> 00:26:17.220
Jason Mefford: Right. And maybe, maybe some people are finally listening because

00:26:17.670 –> 00:26:21.420
Jason Mefford: It’s always, you know, surprised me and

00:26:22.560 –> 00:26:29.820
Jason Mefford: You know, from one of the business coaches that I’ve worked with. He says, you know, if, if, and this is just talking in general, but apply it back to intern a lot

00:26:30.270 –> 00:26:38.250
Jason Mefford: He says, you know, if, if you don’t know how to sell and market what it is that you do you will not be in business for very long.

00:26:39.000 –> 00:26:45.030
Jason Mefford: Right. And it’s the same thing for our profession. You know, I think for so long. We’ve

00:26:45.870 –> 00:27:00.720
Jason Mefford: We’ve kind of thought that will everybody needs us know everybody doesn’t need you right. In fact, I don’t know the stats, but at least 80% of the businesses that are out there 80% don’t have internal audit.

00:27:01.860 –> 00:27:06.240
Jason Mefford: Most of them don’t need it right, which again oh heresy. Right.

00:27:07.260 –> 00:27:20.760
Jason Mefford: But, but it’s we are important. Right. And we are an important function, but we have to be able to understand how to sell and market what we do and that’s where the persuasion. The influence the ethical

00:27:20.760 –> 00:27:22.470
Jason Mefford: Influence, it comes back in

00:27:24.270 –> 00:27:39.030
Jason Mefford: Because you can’t change the world. If you can’t give people that future vision and help them make a transformation. And the only way people transform is they have to take action, no action. No change. Right.

00:27:39.540 –> 00:27:47.160
Tracie Marquardt: Exactly. Exactly. Yeah. So I think it’s, it’s super important because you can actually

00:27:47.610 –> 00:27:58.230
Tracie Marquardt: Create more for the business so you know when you went to an audit report lands on your desk and we thinking okay so now I need more resources. I need more money because I have to put all these things in place and that

00:27:58.500 –> 00:28:07.830
Tracie Marquardt: My staff is overworked and they’re working from home now and how am I going to get these things done. But actually, if we also show them.

00:28:09.120 –> 00:28:27.210
Tracie Marquardt: The bigger the bigger picture, what I call that the the end of the value of internal audit, which is, you know, increased productivity increased profitability increased cost savings increase your score in us and mitigation and for companies that aren’t profit driven, then maybe it’s

00:28:28.710 –> 00:28:37.650
Tracie Marquardt: The assurance of compliance and in, in the end, you know, and you and I talked about this a little bit. Is that really super helicopter perspective of

00:28:38.910 –> 00:28:43.020
Tracie Marquardt: That the business is on the right path to being able to achieve its objectives.

00:28:43.800 –> 00:28:54.060
Tracie Marquardt: That in internal audit can bring some of that insight to the table. So it goes beyond I’d like to talk about things that in multiple levels. So the benefits at the level of the individual.

00:28:54.960 –> 00:29:01.050
Tracie Marquardt: Because it’s actually in the end it’s an individual that makes the choice and not everyone is is altruistic as the other.

00:29:02.010 –> 00:29:03.270
Jason Mefford: The benefits for most of us are

00:29:03.270 –> 00:29:05.850
Jason Mefford: Less altruistic than we actually think we are

00:29:06.300 –> 00:29:10.890
Jason Mefford: Yeah, that’s about psycho psychology. We won’t get into that we have time for that today.

00:29:11.430 –> 00:29:16.200
Tracie Marquardt: Is the it’s the, it’s the benefits to the person that you’re, you know, who, who owns out

00:29:16.620 –> 00:29:23.310
Tracie Marquardt: Who’s going to own the results of the otter report when they take actions. It’s a benefit to their department. It’s a benefit to the organization and for some

00:29:23.970 –> 00:29:30.720
Tracie Marquardt: Companies, it’s the benefit to the world and the environment because if you’re a if you have nuclear plants or if you’re

00:29:31.260 –> 00:29:49.380
Tracie Marquardt: Digging aggregates out of the ground or if you’re, you know, building where there are historical sites or birds nesting i mean it’s it’s goes goes beyond just the immediate pain of the costs to get an action done. So there’s a ripple effect of what can be achieved.

00:29:50.070 –> 00:29:55.680
Jason Mefford: Well, and I like that ripple effect because I think that’s, again, why you and I kind of get along so well because

00:29:57.480 –> 00:30:10.080
Jason Mefford: We see the ripple effect. And what we’re trying to do. Yeah, for the individual for the Department for the function for the company for the world, right, because

00:30:11.460 –> 00:30:26.040
Jason Mefford: You know I know in my own little weird way. I think every, every individual that we help to be better to be happier. To not live in so much fear and anxiety and frustration.

00:30:26.670 –> 00:30:33.420
Jason Mefford: That ripples out to everybody else in in their world as well. Right. And so even still

00:30:33.990 –> 00:30:52.440
Jason Mefford: As an internal auditor in an organization, we can have a positive impact you know on ourselves on other individuals that we interact with in other departments in the organization, you know, in a hole right as you said, as we helicopter up

00:30:53.490 –> 00:31:07.170
Jason Mefford: And we start focusing on the areas that really are important for meeting the objectives of the organization. It’s much more satisfying and fulfilling for us to do our job as well because we see that connection.

00:31:07.950 –> 00:31:14.490
Jason Mefford: We see how, what we’re doing is actually helping to literally change the world. Man, that’s exciting.

00:31:15.390 –> 00:31:19.080
Tracie Marquardt: It’s really exciting. I’m like think positive add value.

00:31:19.530 –> 00:31:30.420
Tracie Marquardt: You know, stay positive manager stayed get in there and and create innovate and and and for the business, but also for your team for your department. So what can you do differently.

00:31:30.750 –> 00:31:40.920
Tracie Marquardt: This, this time this challenging period that we’re in is so perfect for internal audit to now say, you know what we’re going to try these things because on on some level, nobody’s looking

00:31:41.490 –> 00:31:43.110
Tracie Marquardt: Again, you can’t actually go wrong.

00:31:43.410 –> 00:31:44.970
Tracie Marquardt: There, you know, so, so

00:31:45.420 –> 00:31:49.530
Jason Mefford: So if something goes wrong just blame, blame the Panda right oh you know

00:31:50.370 –> 00:31:57.330
Tracie Marquardt: There’s, there’s so many things I think that audit teams can try and not have any risk.

00:31:58.110 –> 00:32:03.780
Tracie Marquardt: Right are very, very little risk, you can always write the audit report, the old way. Next time, right.

00:32:04.290 –> 00:32:18.450
Tracie Marquardt: You know, trying this this whole you know and all concepts of daily stand ups or combat boards. I mean you there’s no risk. You don’t have to go and change everything on the back end. Just try it this audit. Yeah, so

00:32:19.200 –> 00:32:27.780
Jason Mefford: Well, and I think i think that’s that’s probably a good way for us to end is, you know, like you said, if you go back and listen to this. Again, you’re going to come out with

00:32:28.620 –> 00:32:43.260
Jason Mefford: I kept track was trying to keep track of my head, but at least four or five probably different things that you could try differently. This next month, or this next, you know, quarter right just pick one or two of them and try it.

00:32:44.610 –> 00:32:49.290
Jason Mefford: You know if it works for you, great. If it doesn’t then again you can always go back to the other.

00:32:49.800 –> 00:33:04.380
Jason Mefford: But it’s always been kind of an oxymoron, that, that, especially now auditors are wanting to talk about innovation and as as auditors, we’re not really very innovative. So if you want some innovative things you heard some today.

00:33:05.040 –> 00:33:10.560
Jason Mefford: And if you actually want to be innovative. You’ve actually got to try some of them.

00:33:11.370 –> 00:33:11.820
Tracie Marquardt: You do.

00:33:12.240 –> 00:33:23.700
Jason Mefford: And they might not work out but I’ll bet you if you tried two or three of them. One of them is going to work out and it’s going to make your job a lot easier it’s going to make you a lot happier. It’s going to provide more value to your organization as well.

00:33:24.330 –> 00:33:26.430
Tracie Marquardt: And there will be learning everything you try

00:33:27.480 –> 00:33:31.470
Jason Mefford: Yeah, there is no failure. There’s only feedback is one of my favorite quotes

00:33:32.010 –> 00:33:32.460
Jason Mefford: That

00:33:33.030 –> 00:33:40.200
Jason Mefford: You know, you don’t have to be worried about it if it doesn’t work than at least you learned and next time you do something different.

00:33:40.530 –> 00:33:46.410
Tracie Marquardt: Yeah. To do that to millimeter shift and try something slightly different. Next time, or whatever it is. So,

00:33:46.920 –> 00:33:48.750
Jason Mefford: Yeah. And sometimes that’s all it takes. Right.

00:33:49.350 –> 00:34:03.000
Jason Mefford: Exactly. So Tracy. Thank you. Now where where’s the best place for people to be able to reach out to you because I know there’s lots of people out there that are thinking, how can I improve my reporting well contact Tracy

00:34:03.960 –> 00:34:10.440
Tracie Marquardt: Tracy, definitely, they can reach out on LinkedIn, connect with me on LinkedIn or my email. Can I just say my email.

00:34:10.560 –> 00:34:11.640
Jason Mefford: You if you want to go ahead

00:34:11.820 –> 00:34:32.490
Tracie Marquardt: It’s Tracy at QA it’s Tracy with an IE and I have a couple of websites, Tracy marquardt calm was launched this year and QA communication calm is my normal training website and we’re all my blog articles and things are so

00:34:32.850 –> 00:34:33.090
Jason Mefford: Well,

00:34:33.480 –> 00:34:34.350
Tracie Marquardt: Good information.

00:34:34.590 –> 00:34:41.010
Jason Mefford: Yeah, I know you’ve got a lot of blogs out there too. So is that is are the blogs on your Tracy Mark harder on the QA

00:34:41.310 –> 00:34:47.940
Tracie Marquardt: There on QA communication. COM. There’s a lot of them on LinkedIn. But everything’s on QA okay

00:34:47.970 –> 00:35:01.620
Jason Mefford: Great. So we’ll link all that up in the show notes, too. So you can just click on the link and be able to go. But yeah, go check out her stuff she’s been around for a long time. She knows what she’s talking about. I don’t know how she’s been doing this long because she’s only 29 anyway right

00:35:01.890 –> 00:35:05.850
Tracie Marquardt: Exactly, exactly. Well done, well,

00:35:07.020 –> 00:35:08.790
Jason Mefford: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Well Joe I

00:35:08.880 –> 00:35:15.090
Jason Mefford: You know that’s that’s what I heard. Women are only. Oh, he’s 29 and something and men are what 39 and something else.

00:35:15.930 –> 00:35:17.460
Tracie Marquardt: I don’t know. I didn’t know

00:35:18.120 –> 00:35:26.820
Tracie Marquardt: That Well listen, thank you very much for the opportunity. It’s been a real pleasure as always and getting together and chatting with you about the things we love about internal audit.

00:35:27.390 –> 00:35:40.950
Jason Mefford: But internal audit and and yeah I mean because I think both of our hopes is, again, we just love these people we love this profession and we’re just trying to help and make the world a better place one person at a time.

00:35:41.310 –> 00:35:42.450
Tracie Marquardt: So yeah, that’s it.

00:35:42.510 –> 00:35:43.860
Tracie Marquardt: That’s it. Exactly. Thanks so much.

00:35:44.490 –> 00:35:45.330
Jason Mefford: Thank you, Tracy

Leave a comment