Blog: When Culture Is the Culprit: Lessons From Toshiba, Hertz, and FIFA
In his blog, IIA President and CEO Richard Chambers, CIA, QIAL, CGAP, CCSA, CRMA, shares his personal reflections and insights on the internal audit profession. Here’s an excerpt from his latest post:
In the past few weeks, I have written about governance failings that came to light at three disparate organizations — Toshiba, Hertz, and FIFA. These cases, in my view, have two notable things in common:
- The appearance and indication of a strong and inappropriate tone coming from the top that trumped internal controls to the detriment of the organization and its stakeholders.
- Internal control and governance failures that apparently allowed alleged wrongdoing to continue for extended periods of time.
In each case, we have learned about failures in internal control that manifest themselves in prolonged and systemic accounting irregularities or alleged corruption. The details are critical from a forensic perspective, but it is important not to get immediately caught up in the details. The lesson these high-profile failings offer is that a strong yet inappropriate tone at the top can easily render even viable internal control processes and policies virtually irrelevant.