Hello readers, and welcome to The Audit Library Blog!
This is a blog for auditors at any point in their careers. There will be posts about audit theory, practical advice for running an Internal Audit department, and real-world examples from my career to help you navigate difficult situations. Today’s inaugural post will tell you who I am, why I decided to build this website, and what to expect going forward.
Who am I?
I’m Olivia Whipple, an entrepreneur and former auditor, living in the suburbs of Charlotte, North Carolina. Originally from Portland, Oregon, I hold degrees from The University of Oregon and Portland State University. In 2006, I started my audit career working at a large regional CPA firm in Portland, and then worked for a similar firm in Charlotte. I performed financial statement audits before moving into Internal Audit in 2010. I worked my way up to a Chief Audit Executive role at a large Credit Union. In 2017, I left the corporate world, needing a change. I’ve been married for fourteen years, and we have one beautiful child.
I thoroughly enjoyed many aspects of my corporate job, and was proud of what I accomplished there, but I was not entirely fulfilled. I was missing a lot of my child’s life, either with work and commuting, or just being too tired and distracted to be fully present on my off hours. Weekends were spent catching up on chores, most of our meals were takeout, and it seemed we were always one bad traffic jam away from complete chaos! I’m fortunate to have a very successful spouse, so I took the leap, left the workforce, and became a support role in the family.
When I first left the corporate world, I kept myself busy being a mom and home maker. The first thing I will say is that being a stay at home mom is hard work! There is always something to fill up a day with, and I spent the first three months or so wondering how I ever managed working outside the home. But like all stages of life, we humans adapt and change.
From Auditor to Writer
After my transition to working in the home, a switch turned on in my brain. Without a nine-hour work day and an hour-long commute (one way), a wellspring of creativity bubbled up. I started a lifestyle blog and learned the basics of website creation. A colleague informed me that freelance business writing jobs were plentiful, and I started looking for new opportunities. Any content I created drawing on my knowledge base in auditing was thoughtful, well-structured, and enjoyable to write.
There are so many directions you can go with an audit background, and I will explore many in future posts. When I break down my various career roles and what made them gratifying, it always comes back to expressing myself through writing. Creating reports, arranging Power Point presentations, writing effective emails, etc. I believe there is a hidden reason why we love or hate any job. If you enjoy working in retail, your hidden passion may be interacting with people or following fashion trends. If you’re a high-level executive, you might find developing and mentoring leaders to be your true purpose. Jobs pay the bills, and sometimes, they help us find meaning as well!
Why Blog about Auditing?
Simply put, I started playing around on my computer, writing about business and audit topics, and I really liked what I was able to create. I followed the same advice I used to start my lifestyle blog, and tried my hand at ten topics before committing to this project. Common wisdom is if you can write ten blog posts, and still have a lot to say, you are on to something!
Here are some posts that will be forthcoming:
- Create Meaningful Department Metrics with Excel
- Why Auditors Should NOT Write Company Policies
- Auditors Know Everything, Right?!
- Audit Said So is NOT a Reason
- Read This Before Joining a Board
- Whistleblower Hotlines: Why You Need One, Tips for Effectiveness, and Pitfalls to Avoid
If these topics sound interesting, follow us! Leave comments or send a note, speak out, and join the conversation. What other topics do you want to hear about? Do my posts ring true to your experiences? Did I miss an important point or exception to a rule? Blogging is as much about conversations in the comments as the original content. I want to hear what others in the industry have to say, so don’t hold back!
What Comes Next?
While this blog has stand-alone value, this is the free arm of my business The Audit Library. We are a document subscription service for Internal Auditors, offering audit programs, workpaper templates, and other documentation tools for a reasonable price. I have spent the past weeks and months writing, editing, and perfecting documents that Internal Auditors can use to be more efficient and effective in their roles.
Much of the paid content is universal, but the focus right now is on Credit Unions. In my experience, there is a huge market gap for affordable advice and tools in this industry. As the business grows, I will expand into other industries. The blog will highlight certain documents available to subscribers. If you think The Audit Library may be valuable to you, I encourage you to subscribe, or at least download our free example documents. This is a great value, which will get even better over time.
If you’re just here to read my thoughts on audit issues and topics, that’s great too! Lots of free content is being created.
I’d Like to Thank…
Now that you know about me, I want to shout out to my amazing group of beta testers; friends and colleagues who are providing feedback and helping me turn this idea into a successful business. There are too many to name, but you know who you are! The Audit Library is absolutely a labor of love and a family enterprise. Thank you to my wonderful husband Mike Whipple, who is the king of website troubleshooting and always ready with honest feedback! Thanks to my brilliant sister-in-law Kelly Meyers, who supplied my photography. Finally, thank you to the amazing and talented Barbara Lemon, as close to family as can be, who designed my logo and graphic art.
If you’re a brand-new auditor, or still in school, I hope this blog will help get you ready for the industry and all the amazing opportunities that will come your way. Maybe you’ve been around the block, and have a more extensive Internal Audit resume. I hope this blog is a place where you can commiserate and bounce ideas off others who have been where you have been and seen what you have seen. Some of you are audit-adjacent or audit-curious. Keep reading, I have so much coming your way!
Happy reading, and thank you for being a part of this project!