1. If auditing background checks is part of the client agreement, how much credence would you give to a black mark that appears next to an existing employee's name? Would your decision change if the employee was performing at or better than company expectations? Would you make a note in the Audit Report?
2. What if while proposing a solution to a business problem to your boss (behind closed doors) he takes your idea and calls it his own? Although you may have integrity, it does not mean your boss does.
Would your first instinct be to try to convince the higher ups that it was actually your idea that saved the company thousands of dollars in lost productivity? Or, would your attitude be, "as long as it is for the common good of the company, it does not matter who gets the credit?"
3. The thought, "It is what it is" comes to mind. We should always follow the facts and not speculate whenever we uncover what appears to be fraudulent activity. If you cannot prove something, you are better off mentioning to management that you have discovered elements of fraud, but need additional time to sort through the facts.
We are dealing with human beings, who are susceptible of making mistakes just like you and I. Like a seasoned Carpenter, let's remember to measure twice and cut once, just to be safe.
How can we be sure that we have the necessary facts when we are ready to point the finger at an employee?
4. In life, we accumulate credits for helping others. Help your boss get out of a difficult situation, and earn a few brownie points. Relocate to a different part of the country to take over a struggling division, and receive a get out of jail card.
There is a reason why certain employees survive downsizing, economic downturns, and restructuring of workflows. These untouchable employees are trusted and, in many cases, highly heralded within the organization.
How can making in-roads with the untouchables help auditors?
1. Background checks are to be used as information and as a guideline. Background checks on employees show auditors where there may be potential, which enables the auditor to pay a different type of attention to the areas where that employee is heavily involved. The auditor still needs to continue paying as much attention to other areas. The proper way to use background check information in auditing is to use it as a tool for further analysis and information purposes. I would make a note in the audit report and I would also indicate that the employee is performing above expected levels. This way, its noted and an area of concern but no action detrimental to the employee (or wrong action) has been taken because of the information - its been used for informational purposes only.
This solution provides detailed explanations for each of the auditing questions presented.