So, last week I was at the “Happiest Place on Earth” with my three sons, their wives, and my 3 ½ year-old grandson. I discovered the Happiest Place on Earth is a little less happy when it is 95 degrees and HUMID. It’s supposed to be Fall, for goodness sake. But, I digress. While it did turn out to be a pretty happy vacation, I sometimes just can’t get out of compliance mode, even when visiting that famous Mouse.
For example, there are lots of signs at Disney instructing you to do or not do various things: 1) keep hands and feet in ride at all times; 2) stay with your party; 3) no flash photography during the presentation, etc. What do I think about when I see those signs? I think about whether there is some happy Disney “cast member” who is conducting audits to make sure all those signs are where they should be and are in compliance with some internal policy or external rule. I suppose there is someone (likely many someones) with that job.
Well, that got me thinking that while the compliance audits we conduct in our credit unions might be very different than the audits a happy Disney cast member conducts, there are some common elements to audit work among both worlds. And, one of those common elements that can often be overlooked is the importance of corrective actions.
We all feel pretty good when we can check a completed audit off our schedule for the year. But, it is not only important, but critical, that someone monitors those corrective actions coming from an audit to make sure they are addressed. I have seen any number of auditors who automatically elevate the severity of an audit finding simply because it was a finding in last year’s audit and was never addressed. And let’s not even talk about how easy this makes an examiner’s job! It’s like shooting fish in a barrel to cite corrective actions that were never addressed.continue reading »