Internal auditors are naturally curious: questioning, enquiring, probing. Curiosity is about being intrigued by what is outside of the box, beneath the surface or hidden from sight.
In this article, we look at how internal auditors can harness their curiosity using sustainability risk and the growing concerns about natural resources risk management as an example.
What is curiosity?
Curiosity is closely linked to professional scepticism. It is about probing and taking an interest in what might be beyond the obvious.
Intrigue, fascination even excitement are feelings that typically take the mind of an internal auditor down the curious rather than sceptic route.
Scepticism is about taking nothing at face value and rarely assuming that the first answer to a question is true according to Richard Chambers, ex-President and CEO IIA Global.
Similarly, accountants define it as “an attitude that includes a questioning mind, being alert to conditions which may indicate possible misstatement due to error or fraud, and a critical assessment of evidence.”
Curiosity has a sense of wonder, exploring a childlike naivety of a topic, to learn without judgement, to build knowledge and share understanding.
Finding time to be curious
We hear your sigh. Personally, and professionally, there is not enough time for everything.
If we can find just a few minutes a day, the time to make a cup of tea, to be curious it can be impactful. Even a busy Chief Audit Executive (CAE) with a team of curious internal auditors can soon get to grips with emerging risks, trends and the latest news.
An emerging risk within the climate crisis is the management of natural resources.
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