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​Philosophers Comment on Internal Auditing

Blogs Mike Jacka, CIA, CPA, CPCU, CLU May 15, 2020

The great philosophers have had a lot of things to say about a lot of things.

However, many people do not know that these philosophers also had a lot to say about internal auditing. Following are some of their more relevant (if irreverent) quotations.

René Descartes: I think, therefore I test.

Voltaire: If internal audit dd not exist, it would be necessary to invent it.

Socrates: The unexamined life is not worth living. And, come to think of it, maybe you should also take a second look at that pile of shredded credit card receipts.

Martin Heidegger: The human essence can only fully comprehend the meaning of its life when faced with the certainty of its death, or a final report’s impending deadline.

Bertrand Russell: I would never die for my beliefs because I might be wrong. However, I truly believe you have the worst controls I’ve ever seen.

Thomas Hobbes: Leisure is the mother of philosophy, and the father of an opportunity to study for the CIA.

St. Augustine: We are too weak to discover the truth by reason alone. Time for more testing.

Jean-Paul Sartre: Hell is other people’s workpapers.

Epicurus: The greater the difficulty, the more glory in surmounting it. Now, get that report done.

Plato: The human soul is a charioteer trying to drive, simultaneously, one bad horse and one noble one. Unfortunately, our random sample picked the bad one.

René Descartes: One cannot conceive anything so strange and so implausible that it has not already been said by one fraudster or another.

Martin Heidegger: He who thinks great thoughts often makes great errors. Recount the inventory and get it right this time.

Socrates: The only thing I know is that I know nothing … and that your controls are abominable.

Confucius: It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop. Then again, that report was due last week.

And one last quote, and I swear I didn’t change a word.

William Kingdon Clifford: It is wrong always, everywhere, and for anyone, to believe anything upon insufficient evidence.

Feel free to share any philosophical quotes about internal audit you may have come across.

Mike Jacka, CIA, CPA, CPCU, CLU

Co-founder and Chief Creative Pilot, Flying Pig Audit, Consulting, and Training Services (FPACTS), based in Phoenix.