”Over the years, I have heard many audit leaders describe the stakeholders in their organizations as customers or clients. I have recently been researching the concept of client service and considering how this could apply to the internal audit practice — and I now see these leaders as early adopters of a visionary track that has the potential to significantly elevate the internal audit profession.
As internal auditors, our job is to set clear expectations based on the clients’ priorities and then deliver our services to our best ability. In the end, I believe a model promoted by David H. Maister, author of “Managing the Professional Service Firm,” best illustrates the dynamic of client satisfaction. Maister asserts that clients are satisfied if the perceived value they receive exceeds their expectations. In other words, perception – expectation = satisfaction.
Delivering internal audit services that exceed the expectations of our clients and other stakeholders propels the department’s stature by improving the perception within the organization of the value audit provides. This article breaks down how to apply a client service approach to internal audit, and suggests six ways to adopt this model to enhance your clients’ and other stakeholders’ perception of — and satisfaction with — internal audit.”