Categories for Audit Insights/Blog

BarnOwl Info Sharing Insight: – Empowering Insight, Enhancing Governance: Mastering Risk and Control-Based Auditing (Part #1 – Audit Planning)

May 6, 2024 2:42 pm

Presented by Stephen Helberg and Scott Goddard, Directors, GRCReady Introduction Thank you very much Stephen and Scott for your most informative presentation on ‘Mastering Risk and Control-Based Auditing (part #1 on Audit Planning)’ at the BarnOwl info-sharing event held on 25th April 2024. Thank you too, to all those who attended the session. Part #1 covers Audit Planning and part #2 scheduled for 27th June 2024 will cover ‘Audit Execution’. Through practical examples and insightful discussions, Stephen showcases how a risk-based approach can transform your audits from mundane tasks to strategic drivers of organisational success. Is your internal audit team... Read more

Making the Most of Audit Findings

November 2, 2023 9:39 am

Auditing is a critical process for businesses and organisations of all sizes. It provides insights into financial health, compliance and operational efficiency. However, the real value of an audit is most often realised in the post-audit phase. In this article, we will explore the key steps and strategies for making the most of audit findings to drive improvements, optimise operations and ensure a positive return on investment for the audit process. The hope for this article is to either assist new auditors who are in the process of building an effective Auditing function or at the very least act as... Read more

BarnOwl Info Sharing Insight: Elevating Audit through Risk-Based Auditing with Continuous Monitoring with Anton Bouwer & Jonathan Crisp

June 25, 2020 11:39 am

BarnOwl Info Sharing session: 17 June 2020 Elevating Audit through Risk-based Auditing with Continuous Monitoring Presented by Anton Bouwer, Director, RSM South Africa and Jonathan Crisp, Director, BarnOwl Thank you very much to RSM South Africa and Anton Bouwer for hosting this info-sharing event online on the 17th June 2020. Introduction The audit standards and definitions of audit make it clear that Internal Audit needs to transition from the business of providing subjective opinions on “control effectiveness” on a small fraction of the risk universe to ensuring senior management and the board are aware of the current residual risk status... Read more

Human Beings Aren’t Going Anywhere

August 27, 2019 8:07 am

A lot has been made and will continue to be made of the impact of the fourth industrial revolution on every single aspect of our private, public and corporate lives. Robotics and artificial intelligence already has and will continue to replace a large number of human-based roles, and of course, at the same time also opens up the path to new functions and tasks that people with the right skills will be able to fulfil and take advantage of. Parallel to this runs an ever increasing human population, a decreasing level of skills in too many parts of the world,... Read more

Harnessing the Potential of the Rise of the Machines

June 3, 2019 9:35 am

Much has been written about the disruptive effect of artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics. The fears range from widespread job losses on the sensible side of the scale to nothing short of a “Skynet” state of affairs with a tip of the cap to the main protagonist in the Terminator movies, leading to the inevitable elimination of humankind at the behest of our robot masters. Computer scientist Roman Yampolskiy together with hacktivist and entrepreneur Federico Pistono came up with a set of worst-case scenarios the world could potentially experience in the face of a malevolent AI (MAI). Societal impacts such... Read more

Business Unusual – Be in Charge of Your Own Disruption

February 27, 2019 8:07 am

The dawning of the fourth industrial revolution is set to fundamentally alter so much of what we’ve become accustomed to. Take a moment to reflect on the dynamic nature of work, travel, leisure and relationships in your own life, and compare it the far slower and more stable evolution our parents and their parents experienced, and it becomes glaringly obvious that the current rate of transformation is anything but steady. From AI to big data analytics, bio-innovation to anti-ageing breakthroughs, the leaps and bounds in the transport industry to the highly intrusive yet connecting internet of things, from blockchain to... Read more

Gazing Through Futuristic Eyes – Get Ready for Fundamental Change

January 24, 2019 7:07 am

It’s a mild early summers day, with temperatures only just creeping up over 36 degrees Celsius, and I’m standing at the McDonalds 4D vending machine, old technology, but still reliable. I can’t decide between the insect patty McMuffin, or the synthetic beef Big Mac. Closing my eyes, I activate the body maintenance menu on my neural link device, and it’s clear from the readings that the McMuffin is the lesser of two evils. Ever since the “Et Ius Illud” principle was enacted, what we ordinary folk call the “do the right thing law”, it’s a lot more difficult, if not... Read more

Disruptive Technologies

December 6, 2018 2:18 pm

Innovation that creates a new market and value network and eventually disrupts an existing market and value network, displacing established market-leading firms, products, and alliances.  Disruptive technology applies to hardware, software, networks and combined technologies. According to Gartner, by 2020, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is projected to create 2.3 million new jobs worldwide while eliminating 1.8 million traditional jobs. A computer can beat the world chess champion and understand voice commands on your smartphone, but real artificial intelligence has yet to arrive. The pace of change is quickening, though. Because of new computing technologies, machine learning today is not like machines learning... Read more

Adapting to a Changing Audit Landscape

November 5, 2018 1:22 pm

The exact moment the first auditor blinked into existence is a difficult one to pinpoint. It’s intrinsically entwined with the accounting profession which traces its roots back over 7,000 years from the days of early Mesopotamia where lists showing expenditures, and goods received and traded have been found. Even then mankind had an inexplicable desire to collect, count and document “things” from the growth of crops to the management of herds of domestic animals. By counting it was easy to ascertain whether there was a shortage or an excess, and from these numbers, taxation could be calculated and trading activities... Read more

Cape Winelands Risk And Audit Forum

July 24, 2018 10:01 am

Eeste Begin Farm Worcester BarnOwl would like to extend a big thank you to the organisers of the Cape Winelands Risk and Audit Forum for inviting Jonathan Crisp, Director at BarnOwl GRC and Audit solutions to present on the practical implementation of risk appetite and tolerance. The venue was set in the majestic mountains of Worcester and as always such a warm reception. Thank you. Jonathan briefly ran through the various definitions of risk appetite and risk tolerance which are a bit vague to say the least and a bit contradictory. The aim of my presentation however was to demonstrate... Read more

The Voices at My Gate

May 3, 2018 10:21 am

In South Africa we recently celebrated Human Rights Day when we remember the Sharpeville massacre that took place on the 21st of March 1960. On that fateful day 58 years ago 69 people died and 180 were wounded when police fired on a peaceful crowd that had gathered in protest against the pass laws of the time. These laws were enforced through a form of domestic passport system (referred to by its carriers as a “dompas”) fundamentally intended to segregate the population across racial and tribal lines, controlling the flow of migrant labour, and to manage urban development, essentially framing... Read more

Internal Audit Software: Saving Costs and Boosting Efficiency

July 27, 2017 1:52 pm

Why implement internal audit software Besides being general best practice, Internal Audit Software provides an organisation with a systematic and disciplined approach to the audit process. Using Internal Audit software can boost efficiency for internal audit departments creating greater cost savings and they can boost the overall capacity of understaffed departments. Other benefits of using internal audit software include: Creating a central and secure repository for all audit documentation Giving access to audit information and documentation regardless of location, or stage of the audit process Providing a highly structured format to support the audit process of planning, execution, reporting, follow-up... Read more

IRMSA Public Sector Breakfast – Series 2

April 12, 2017 10:03 am

IRMSA Public Sector Breakfast on ‘Navigating your Universe – Let’s get real: Series 2: Regulation Legal and Compliance BarnOwl were proud sponsors of the IRMSA public sector Series 2 breakfasts recently held on: 9th May 2017, at the Johannesburg Country Club in Woodmead 25th May 2107 in Durban at the Sun Coast Conference Centre 1st June 2017 In Cape Town at Century City The Johannesburg breakfast saw informative presentations from: Adv Monwabisi Nguqu Musawakhe Khumalo                   Now more than ever governance, risk, compliance and audit practitioners need to be seen and heard:... Read more

6 Ways Risk-Based Auditing Adds Value to Your Organisation

October 26, 2016 2:15 pm

The value of the Internal Audit function is becoming increasingly critical to the strong corporate governance, risk management, effective internal control, and efficient operations of any organisation. The Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) framework defines internal auditing as: ‘An independent, objective assurance and consulting activity designed to add value and improve an organization’s operations. It helps an organization accomplish its objectives by bringing a systematic, disciplined approach to evaluate and improve the effectiveness of risk management, control, and governance processes’ (IIA 2004:8). It is a common fallacy that the Internal Audit function exists to pick holes in management’s operations. This... Read more

Auditing Talent to Unearth Potential – Talent Management and Its Alignment to Objectives

May 30, 2016 8:46 am

South Africa’s unemployment rate recently clambered back over the 25% level, the highest reading since 2005, and the 12th highest unemployment rate globally. 5.7 million people are unemployed in South Africa, not counting those who aren’t economically active. Under the expanded definition of unemployment, including those discouraged job seekers who have given up on looking for work, this figure soars to 36% of the population. In view of this state of the labour market, an effective talent attraction and retention strategy becomes vital to the continued success of the organization. Talent needs to be viewed as a scarce commodity, and... Read more

Internal Audit Performance Versus Internal Audit Value. Is There a Difference?

May 16, 2016 10:45 am

The concepts of internal audit performance and value add are used interchangeably more often than not. How often has one heard that the internal auditors have completed their annual plan, or their recommendations have been accepted and as a result, they have added value. Has the term “Adding Value” been thrown around, twisted and changed to now mean an entirely different thing? Does it mean that if internal audit performs their work they are paid to do, they are actually adding value? Do these two concepts have the same meaning or are they totally different? For years internal auditors have... Read more

BarnOwl Info Sharing Insight: The Role of Internal Audit in Integrating Reporting with Albert Gerber

October 29, 2015 12:15 pm

The BarnOwl info sharing breakfast held on the 29th October 2015 focused on the topic of “The Role of Internal Audit in Integrating Reporting” We would like to thank our guest speaker Albert Gerber, Chief Audit Executive of Pinnacle Holdings. Albert is a qualified certified internal auditor and also holds certificates in control self-assessment and risk management assurance. Albert developed a sound business knowledge through exposure to various types of industries including manufacturing, services, property, technology, mining and distribution.                           We would like to extend a big thank you... Read more

Key Updates to the IPPF Framework You Should Know About

September 3, 2015 11:46 am

In July this year the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) unveiled enhancements to its International Professional Practices Framework (IPPF). It’s important to know what’s changed and what hasn’t and that’s why we’ve summarized the changes for you. More resources and comprehensive update descriptions can be found on the IIA website ( A great video of the changes developed by the IIA can be found here: What’s new? Mission The IPPF now contains a “Mission of Internal Audit” statement. The mission reads as follows: “To enhance and protect organizational value by providing risk-based and objective assurance, advice, and insight.” This... Read more

Managing and Auditing Ethics – Starting Point or End Goal?

August 5, 2015 9:48 am

Ethical business practice is an ideal many corporations strive for, but often fall short of due to an overwhelming focus on the bottom line and risk processes in tough global economic times. Companies are having to walk a fine line, and sometimes even cross it to ensure they stay relevant in an increasingly challenging marketplace. An ongoing spate of business scandals uncovered through whistle blowers, internal auditing,  general  investigations  etc., both in the private and the public sector has brought ethics to the forefront of many a corporate dialogue, where trust and reputation are seen to tip the scales against... Read more

Starting a Compliance Function

July 21, 2015 9:15 am

Many companies struggle to identify what to be compliant with let alone staying compliant with existing laws and acts. Compliance does not need to be overly complex to start with. Compiling a Regulatory universe and applying your mind to which acts are pertinent to your organisation is a major step in the right direction. The definition of the idiom, “Trying to run before you can walk”, is trying to do something requiring a high level of knowledge before you have learned the basics. Too many organisations attempt to address too many compliance areas and end up doing a bad job... Read more

4 Ways Auditors Can Add Value to Your Organisation

June 30, 2015 2:54 pm

The value of the Internal Audit function is becoming increasingly critical to the strong corporate governance, risk management, effective internal control, and efficient operations of any organisation. As per the IIA, “at its simplest, internal auditing involves identifying the risks that could keep an organization from achieving its goals, making sure the organization’s leaders know about these risks, and proactively recommending improvements to help reduce the risks”. It is a common fallacy that the Internal Audit function exists to pick holes in management’s operations. However, this is not at all the case. There are so many reasons to regard audit... Read more

Still Using Excel for Risk Management and / or Audit?

May 7, 2015 7:53 am

Most of us and especially the younger generation understand the power and benefits of technology and yet we often choose to ignore better ways of doing things and stick to the ways we have always done things. For example, Excel is still often the tool of choice and used in preference to or outside of an enterprise database-driven solution. There is a proliferation of Excel spreadsheets floating around all organisations. So why is this the case when we know the many benefits of a GRC and Audit software solution? Excel is pervasive in an organisation, Most people have a reasonable... Read more