Audit Quotes and Wise Sayings

Larry Sawyer's Words of Wisdom

As staff, our job...and inscribe this indelibly on the tablets of your memory...is to make the manager look good! That means helping operating and executive managers correct defects and letting them take the credit. Now that is certainly a noble thought.

Auditors must develop a reputation that proclaims that they know what they are doing... that their reviews are factual and unbiased... that they deserve to be respected... that they are professionals with professional qualifications.

A fundamental key to audit success is the reputation for objectivity. That implies independence from activities reviewed. Complete independence is an unattainable goal while practical independence is not only possible but absolutely essential.

For every operation audited, know the mission ... the purpose... the reason for being.

Sawyer's 10 Commandments of Auditing

  1. Leave every place a little better than you found it.
  2. You can't stomp your foot when you are on your knees.
  3. Know the objectives.
  4. Nothing ever happens until somebody soils something.
  5. Every deficiency is rooted in the violation of some principle of good management.
  6. Never believe what the first person tells you.
  7. The best question is, "Mr. or Ms. Manager, how do you satisfy yourself that. . . ?"
  8. Politics and culture will usually win over rules and regulations.
  9. When you point your finger, make sure your fingernail is clean.
  10. Murphy was an optimist.



Larry Sawyer

Michael Piazza's Auditisms

Audit success comes from service, not from status.

Internal Auditors are the eyes and ears of management, be sure you are not deaf or blind.

Trust is earned; but awarded only after careful verification.

Risk management: stop doing stupid things, start doing smart things for the mission.

Audit findings are easy to come up with, successful change from a finding is true internal audit value.

Audit risk: allowing management to ignore and/or not correct unacceptable organizational risks.

The genius of a criminal mind should neither be feared nor admired; eventually, it will defeat itself into a mire of self destruction and pathetic denials.

Generosity defeats greed every time: give of your best and it will be enough for needed change to follow.

It never made sense to me to call the auditee 'the customer:' Everyone I've known in organizations wouldn't shop for and buy an audit even with the auditor's money!

The true standards of audit practice are found within the auditor's character: honesty, integrity, self control and high ethical values. The printed standards are mearly guidelines for trying to make the art of auditing into a profession.




Michael L. Piazza
Director and Producer
AuditWisdom.com

Einstein's Quotes

The difference between genius and stupidity is; genius has its limits.

The only source of knowledge is experience.

A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.

Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value.

Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning.

If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough.


Albert Einstein

Mark Twain's Quotes

Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please.

Thunder is good, thunder is impressive; but it is lightning that does the work.

Let us make a special effort to stop communicating with each other, so we can have some conversation.

Everything has its limit - iron ore cannot be educated into gold.

I never let schooling interfere with my education.

Civilization is the limitless multiplication of unnecessary necessities.



Mark Twain


"I don't care to belong to a club that accepts people like me as members."
Groucho Marx


Audit Wisdom