IAM010 – Should An Internal Auditor Be Friends With Co-workers?


We need to develop solid relationships with the people we work with, but should we go as far as to be friends with the people at work?

A few considerations:

What is a friend?


Independence & Objectivity:


The Institute of Internal Auditors Research Foundation – Research Opportunities in Internal Audit (2003) tweet

  1. Personal Relationship

This threat may arise when an auditor is a close relative or friend of the manager or an employee of the audit customer unit. The auditor may be tempted to overlook, soften, or delay reporting negative audit findings to avoid embarrassing the friend or relative. Such a threat is magnified if there are any romantic relationships between the auditor and an employee of the auditee in work environments. tweet

  1. Familiarity

This threat may arise due to an auditor’s long-term relationship with the audit customer or when the auditor has formerly worked in the customer unit. Familiarity may lead an auditor to lose perspective on an audit by making the auditor overly sympathetic to the customer. Alternatively, familiarity may lead an auditor to prejudge an audit customer on the basis of previous problems (or non-problems) and assume a posture consistent with the prejudgment rather than taking a fresh, objective look. tweet



I’ve been reading the novel, “Revenge of the Cube Dweller” by Joanne Fox Phillips and I’ve been struck by how much her main character, an internal auditor, Tanzie Lewis is discussing about her job to her friends and family.  She eventually finds herself in a frightening situation, not knowing what was shared by someone she entrusted.

Knowledge of things your friend isn’t privy to (results, actions and plans)


Always On:

Beyond being careful what you a say, you’re likely to hear things from your work friend that may require additional inquiry or investigation.




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