|Expect your external auditors to|
embrace a professional level of
skepticism in order to succeed.
Skepticism is a questioning mindset, and it requires an understanding that even the best organizations can be susceptible to fraud. Management, audit committees, and internal auditors, at a minimum, should take a “trust but verify” approach with systems, methods, and communications rather than accept critical information at face value.
Skepticism is not an end in itself and is not meant to encourage a hostile atmosphere or micromanagement. The word skepticism, in fact, comes from the Greek word skeptikos, which means “inquiring” or “reflective.”
Is skepticism a set of personality traits, or is it a learned skill? The short answer is both. We will consider skepticism as an individual characteristic, albeit with multiple dimensions, listed as follows:
- Questioning mind—A disposition to inquiry, with some sense of doubt
- Suspension of judgment—Withholding judgment until appropriate evidence is obtained
- Search for knowledge—A desire to investigate beyond the obvious, with a desire to corroborate
- Interpersonal understanding— Recognition that people’s motivations and perceptions can lead them to provide biased or misleading information
- Autonomy—The self-direction, moral independence, and conviction to decide for oneself, rather than accepting the claims of others
- Self-esteem—The self-confidence to resist persuasion and to challenge assumptions or conclusions
READ MORE>> www.thecaq.org: The Fraud-Resistant Organization