Are auditors friends or foes?

Chances are you have encountered a variety of auditor styles. Good auditors provide support to help improve the card program. Their findings are factual while also including potential solutions. At the other end of the spectrum are auditors who only want to focus on negatives. They make it their mission to find something wrong with the program because they think this demonstrates their professional value. Like any business aspect, internal culture can influence auditor behavior, so you might wonder what you can do to positively impact audit strategies for the betterment of the card program. Following are five tips. 

Working with Auditors

It begins with establishing that everyone shares the goal of wanting the organization to achieve card program success. Then you can move forward with relationship building.

  1. Understand auditors’ role and responsibilities related to the card program. In other words, talk with them to learn more. Their responsibilities might not include things that you thought they were doing. For example, do they conduct process audits? Some organizations limit their auditing to transactions, which is just one part of the program.
  2. Equip them with fundamental Commercial Card education, if needed. Some auditors have good intentions, but lack the necessary knowledge. Resources from Recharged Education can help.
  3. Provide information specific to your card program, such as policies and procedures, the latest risk assessment, and broad metrics. Within the risk assessment template I created (available for purchase), the first worksheet is dedicated to overview information, including fields for metrics, to make auditors more familiar with the program and the resulting savings. 
  4. Share what you think are potential “soft spots” in the program that could benefit from an auditor’s perspective. If you are gasping at the thought, consider that this could prove beneficial. For example, if your organization is reluctant to hold managers accountable for reviewing cardholders’ transactions, auditors might join your lobbying efforts to sell the C-suite on the importance of consistent enforcement. 
  5. Work with them to identify gaps in the audit process. This relates to number 2 above, but goes deeper to evaluate what they audit and how often. Sometimes auditors overlook the program manager or support personnel (e.g., accounts payable, procurement), or they might forget about data/information security.

Overall, help make auditors successful. I said the same thing last year about managers (access the related post). Strong program participants are what make programs great. As an added bonus, your outreach can make you look great.

Good auditors help facilitate a well-rounded, stronger card program.

Good auditors help facilitate a well-rounded, stronger card program.

eWorkshop for Auditors

Purchasing Card Audits—Best Strategies for Internal Audit

  • When: March 6 and 8, 2017
  • Time: 1:00 to 3:00 PM Eastern each day
  • Hosted by The Institute of Internal Auditors/American Center for Government Auditing

Learn more about the workshop.


About the Author

Blog post author Lynn Larson, CPCP, is the founder of Recharged Education. With more than 15 years of Commercial Card experience, her mission is to make industry education readily accessible to all. Learn more

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