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A greedy CFO tries to seize power and destroy the credibility of the CEO. He is driven by hubris and hunger for power.The newly appointed Chief Audit Executive (CAE) is faced with the task of foiling this plot.
It was supposed to be another routine day at the office for Steve Anderson, the newly appointed Chief Audit Executive (CAE) at the Advanced Technology Corporation. But in reality, there is no such thing as a routine day in the life of an internal auditor! When Steve arrived at his office at 8:00 am on Monday he had received a call from the assistant of Mike Smith, the Chief Financial Officer (CFO), asking him to come and meet with her boss urgently.
Steve joined the company about a month ago after working for a medium - sized accounting firm in the city for about five years. Ever since he joined the company, he tried to establish communication channels with senior management in order to introduce his vision of internal audit and to obtain a better understanding of the business and management expectations. One of the hardest people to connect with was Mike Smith who usually gives Steve the cold shoulder and does not show interest in the internal audit activity. So, today’s call from Mike not only came as a surprise, but also with a lot of skepticism!
Steve tried to make sense of this unexpected request to meet. Why the urgency and why now? What had changed or more specifically what had happened that triggered this meeting? Not being able to speculate an answer and put an end to his exasperation, he decided to head straight to Mike’s office. Upon arrival, he was greeted by Mike’s assistant and was led immediately to see him.
“Good morning Mike, you wanted to see me?”
“Do you have what it takes to be a smart & innovative CAE?”, replied Mike without looking at him.
Steve shocked his head in disbelief. He thought, is this how one starts a healthy relationship? He hesitated for a second and then he tried to say something intelligent: “ well,.. I am a qualified internal auditor with…”. He could not finish the sentence because Mike interrupted him and said “I am not interested in a cliché. Actions speak louder than words, you have to prove it to me.”
Steve thought, what an arrogance? Do I have to deal with this bullshit now? Let me play along for a moment and see where this conversation takes us.
“What do you expect me to do?” Steve finally asked.
About the Author
Wa’el Bibi, CPA, CIA, CISA is a seasoned Assurance Executive and the founder and President of Bibi Consulting (www.bibiconsulting.net ) , a Canadian Corporation that provides Internal Audit & Risk Management Services worldwide.
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