2023 Conference Series Audit Challenge

Faster, better and more disruptiv than ever! Audit Challenge Conference Series 2023

25 Top Speakers | 14 CPE | only 195,- € | 18th Anniversary: Internal Audit in a new Risk World of BANI – 

For an overview of the individual conference days and presentations, please click on the table tabs or here on the individual days +++ Go to Registration

1. Audit Challenge | ESG Audit in Spotlight | Tue. 31st January 2023
2. Technological Opportunities in Internal Audit, Performance Transformation in Internal Audit | Tue. 07th February 2023
3. Geopolitical influences change the audit risk landscape | Tue. 14th February 2023

– Internal Audit in a new Risk World of BANI –
Internal Audit Challenge: Identifying and Transforming macro risk evolutions into micro risk impacts

2023 as a virtual conference, participate completely location and end-user medium independent! +++ As of 12th Jan. | Already 198 registrations for the conference +++ Click here for registration +++ See all important information and details under the table tabs.

3 conference days 9:00 -13:00 CET | Audit Challenge Conference Series 18th Anniversary 2023
++ Tue. 31 Jan. 2023 | ++ Tue. 07 Feb. | ++ Tue. 14 Feb. 2023 ++

VUCA has been a successful explanatory concept for nearly 40 years. However, the risk environment has changed significantly. The dynamics of risk events and their degree of impact are different and bigger today. Fitting to today’s risk world, BANI is a new and helpful analytical approach.
We will show you how successful internal auditors deal with this in the BANI world? What are solutions to these current challenges? How can you realign your internal audit team? [Read more below]

Top Speakers at Audit Challenge Conference Series 2023 +++ Click here for registration

++ Andrea Camila Garrido Collazos, President and CEO IIA Colombia
++ Anusha Dasarathi, CIA,CRMA,CFE,FCA, Group Head of Internal Audit, The Sanad Group
++ Tracie Marquardt, Senior Management Trainer, Host of The Audit Podcast, Adjunct Member and Partner of Audit Research Center | ARC Institute,
++ Jenitha John, 2022 Internal Audit Beacon Award Winner from Richard Chambers, Past Chairman on the Global Board of Directors of the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) and Global Assembly Chairman 2020-2021, Member of GRI Due Process Oversight Committee [Standards for sustainability reporting]
++ Meghna Poojary, SVP Chief Audit and Controls Officer at Mondelēz International
++ Anjana Wijegunasinghe Data & Digital Leader in Audit, Risk and Governance space, DP World Dubai
++ Jenny Tan, Global Internal Audit Leader CapitaLand, Audit Committee Member at Singapore University of Technology and Design and at National Institute of Early Childhood Development
++ Anike Te, Chief Strategy Officer and Group Business Development Board Member of Lucideon Group Ltd, Aegis Professor of Engineering Biology
++ Elena Tejero Hernandez, Head of Internal Audit Ferrovial
++ Adithya Bhat, Managing Director, Head of Risk at Essar, Former President IIA India
++ Alaba Awolaja, Internal Audit Beacon Award Winner from Richard Chambers, Chief Managing Consultant, GOARISC & Oversight
++ Marc Blasimann, Senior Audit Data Analyst, Swiss Railway Association, SBB
++ Thomas Boegballe, Head of Internal Audit, Hempel A/S
++ Stephen Coates, President Asian IIA Confederation, Partner Anchoram Consulting Australia, Asia Pacific Region
++ Hossam El Shaffei, Founder Oversight Consulting, Member of the Board of Trustees, The Internal Audit Foundation of IIA
++ Ryan Johnson-Hunt, Blockchain and Metaverse Educater, Johnson & Hunt New Zealand
++ Dr. Rainer Lenz, Internal Audit Beacon Award Winner from Richard Chambers, Director Corporate Audit & Advisory Services, SAF-HOLLAND Group
++ Stefan Preuss, Head of Technology driven Audit Services, AWK Group AG
++ Stefan Raimann, Chief Auditor, Swiss Railway Association, SBB
++ Alexander Ruehle, CEO and Co-Founder zapliance
++ Trent Russel, Founder Greenskies Analytics, Host of The Audit Podcast
++ Stephen Coates, President Asian IIA Confederation, Partner Anchoram Consulting Australia, Asia Pacific Region
++ Bhaskar Subramanian,Chief Internal Auditor – Tata Capital Ltd., Certified Independent Director, former Member of the Audit Advisory Committee of UNOPS  , leadership positions with the IIA as President of IIA -India in 2018-19 and as Member of the IIA’s Global Committees (IRC and CREA) from 2014 till 2020
++ Dr. Dominik Foerschler, Managing Director, Chairman of the Digital Transformation Board, Audit Research Center | ARC Institute
+++ Click here for registration

Learn how to evolve your audit universe and internal audit risk approaches? Gain Internal Audit know-how at the Audit Challenge Conference on:

  • Technological Opportunities in Internal Audit as well as the associated risk trends: On Artificial Intelligence, the new world of work with Augemented Reality, see how the Metaverse is changing our business models, Too Big to Fail scenarios in the cloud industry with Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Apple … and more
  • ESG and Climate Change: Bio-engineering, new products and new ESG audit approaches, changes in our business models due to dramatic environmental and climate changes, new governance and strategy understanding.
  • Geopolitical shifts as well as behavioral changes among consumers and employees. Geopolitical influences change the audit risk landscape.

For a long time, the VUCA concept successfully served us as an explanatory approach. The VUCA model is now almost 40 years old. However, the risk environment has changed significantly. Suitable for today’s risk world, BANI is a new and helpful analytical approach. This model, based on the concept of James Cascio, helps to better understand current events.
In the past, internal audits often had their focus on internal change processes. These changes were then consequently transported in the audit map into process instabilities and new risk assessments. With the increased popularity of the VUCA impact model, as well as an increase in disruptive events such as financial market instability and new technological changes, more and more external influences have been included in internal audit risk analysis. These external factors have increased dramatically, especially in the last 36 months. They include changes especially in the areas of climate, technology, geopolitics and human behavior. BANI provides a constructive analytical framework for further internal auditing work.
Because today the key challenge is to transfer non-linear cause-effect chains of dynamic external impacts to the company’s own processes and business model. Only in this way is a continuous audit risk assessment of the audit objects in the audit universe possible. This in turn enables a rolling audit planning for a timely adjustment of the respective audit execution.
The first priority here is the early identification and transformation of risk influencing factors and potential events. Suitable macro risk analyses as well as extended thinking models, such as the Johari Window, can help here. Not least made famous by the former US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.
Based on this, the core challenge is to correctly link and interpret the potential events depending on a company’s own business model. In this context, macro risk effects and their potential impact on process architecture, products, employee behavior and organizational resilience are analyzed.
With these results, it is possible for Internal Audit to create a risk activity balance sheet of the audit objects. This means that the appropriate risks can always be highlighted and the right audit objects can become the focus of our auditing activities in the sense of today’s agile audit planning.

VUCA Transformation into BANI Audit Risk World +++ Click here for registration

VUCA is a catchy and successful explanatory model to make phenomena like disruption comprehensible. Of course, this also helps internal audit and companies. This makes it easier to explain various risk developments and clarify interdependencies. VUCA as an acronym stands for volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous.
The concept of VUCA first appeared in the late 1980s as the US Army War College’s response to the collapse of the Soviet Union. It was only in the further course of the New Economy and the disruptive developments associated with it that the concept was also transferred to the business world. In recent years, the VUCA model has been used intensively in corporate strategy as well as in everyday life as a meaningful and understandable explanatory model. The origin of this is the instabilities that were triggered by the end of the Cold War and the continuing New Economy in the form of digitalisation.
Our companies, internal audit and the business models themselves have adapted to the digital transformation piece by piece. VUCA and digitalisation have thus become part of everyday life. We have acquired new audit skillsets and internal audit toolsets to keep up with the discontinuity and capture complex systems.
However, especially in the last 36 months, risk influences are once again changing significantly. The VUCA explanatory model is no longer sufficient to explain the current challenges for companies and also for society as a whole. BANI continues the original VUCA explanatory model in a new thought model based on the reflections of the author and futurologist Jamais Cascio. The key article is called “Facing the Age of Chaos“.

BANI as a risk explanation model

The acronym BANI consists of the following terms:
++ Brittle ++ Anxious ++ Non-linear ++ Incomprehensible 
Many current developments can indeed be described as chaotic. The core problem is that our brain loves patterns and structures. We have also mapped these pattern-recognising processes in our risk systems. However, the geopolitical crises show that irrational behaviour of actors leads to lose-lose situations. People voluntarily shake up a stable construct like democracy with their voting behaviour despite better historical knowledge.
The BANI model explains not only the causes, but also the lasting consequences. Through the BANI perspective, unstable structures become understandable in terms of content and even chaotic environmental conditions can be interpreted in a risk-oriented way. The explanatory model thus helps us to generate a better understanding in order to be able to name current risk developments. In the next step, it is up to us to draw the right conclusions individually for the respective situation, the business model, products or processes.

What is behind the individual BANI sub-dimensions?

B – Brittle:

Brittle is the reaction to and continuation of Volatile of the VUCA model. Due to the high dynamics and the low organisational elasticity of company models and also states, the systems are often not sufficiently resilient and flexible. As a result, the proverbial process stability breaks down. Brittle is exactly the word that describes this state. If something is brittle or friable, it is not elastic. It can only withstand a small amount of stress. The dangerous thing about a brittle system is that it often looks quite stable at first glance. Perhaps the system in question was stable in the past, but the new conditions, such as in a physics experiment at elevated temperature, make it porous and brittle. The decisive moment then usually comes unexpectedly. The risky consequences of such a brittle system are all the more serious because of the surprise effect. The moment of truth is often a critical point of failure that can then no longer be cushioned and can have terrible consequences.

Two mental factors often lead to the result here as side effects:

  • Companies and their employees often miss the so-called tipping point. The respective organisational system is often milked for all it’s worth, which in Anglo-Saxon is often referred to as the “Don’t ride a dead horse.” methaphor. The organisation is driven to the limit in spite of breaking points, in order to squeeze out the last part of the possible profit. This then leaves massive signs of attrition on the staff and the machine. Employees leave the company. The competition is overtaking the company.
  • Mentally, there is a lack of willingness to deal with the fragile factors. Thus, bit by bit, further predetermined fractures are created by looking the other way, acting unconsciously or consciously ignoring them. The system becomes brittle from within.

Due to the worldwide dependency patterns and networking, the failure of a system can then have a major impact. This results in multiple risk chain effects. There are numerous examples from the past, including the world financial crisis of 2007, the Covid pandemic, the outbreak of war in Ukraine. Therefore, the exciting thing as Internal Audit is to analyse the fragility in the system not only for oneself and one’s company, but also for companies with which networking aspects or impact processes exist.

A – Anxious

Anxiety, fear is the result of uncertainty. The human brain likes neither uncertainty nor disruptive change. This is because both lead to increased energy expenditure in humans, who are natural energy savers. Anxiety, however, leads to the release of neurotransmitters that block the flow of communication between the limbic system and the rational brain, the prefrontal cortex. This puts the brain into fight mode each time through a high release of noradrenaline. This is often called fight-or-flight syndrome. Final conclusion Fear prevents rational thinking and produces human error in potentially manageable situations. Consumers, managers, employees, politicians, voters and other stakeholders make irrational decisions. Depending on the power situation and the crowd, these can then have enormous consequences. Within the framework of game theory, such decisions can be simulated accurately. It is obvious that irrational decisions in fear situations can generate a whole whirlpool of further irrational fear decisions by other actors or players.
In addition, today’s media landscape largely plays on consumers with negative anxiety messages. Depending on the educational situation, these messages can then be sensibly assessed by the respective consumers in relation to existing information or, in the worst case, lead to anxious and irrational counter-behaviour.

N – Non-Linear

Of course, truth has long been multidimensional. However, with an increasingly complex world, cause-effect chains are overlaid and cannot be clearly identified. The automatic espresso machine calls for more water, but the water container is still half full. The PC wants another update, although the last update was only yesterday. The car mechanic says to the customer: I can’t tell you that, I have to connect the maintenance software first and gets his laptop. Simple mechanics allow for simple cause-and-effect chains. These are only a few examples of technology.
However, the more complex the systems in our environment become, the more influencing factors there are that are not immediately recognisable with simple analytics. All too often we assume that A leads to B leads to C. But this is not the case. We cannot derive B only from a cause A, rather sometimes there is a whole construct behind a consequence. And A does not inevitably lead to a single effect B, but can have an infinite number of effects. This leads to the fact that the measures taken may have no recognisable or predictable impact relationship to the result. Large efforts show no effect or small decisions have a massive impact. We then speak of non-linear relationships.
In a non-linear world, we do not see a clear and obvious relationship between cause and effect. The effect may be disproportionate to the cause that produced it, and therefore much larger or smaller than we expected. Similarly, the result of an action may occur with a long delay or not be visible at all. Furthermore, the effect may reinforce the cause that produced it in a circular way, whereby the connections within this process may not be clear and it is impossible to determine a clear beginning and end.
These multidimensional cause-effect relationships can be modelled using “system dynamics” methodology, but often only at great expense and with appropriate training.

I – Incomprehensible

The increase in the segment of ambiguity and multiple meanings in the VUCA model is taken further here in the form of incomprehensibility. More information is no guarantee for a better understanding of the actual facts. More data, even large amounts of data, can also be counterproductive, as they overwhelm our ability to understand the world. They make it difficult to distinguish the noise from the actual signal. Incomprehensibility is actually the end state of “information overload”.
The incomprehensible can be seen as a consequence of a non-linear world. The developer of the BANI concept James Cascio gives an example from software development. In this example, there is a code that does not fulfil an explicit function and would, at least theoretically, be redundant. However, if one removes this code, the programme crashes or cannot be installed anywhere. There is no conclusive explanation.
Comprehensibility leads to orientation and clarity. Orientation and clarity are a key success factor in times of dynamic change. It also reduces the surprise effect. The surprise effect, in turn, makes the subsequent effects seem more intense. Because a crisis that is not completely unforeseeable and does not take us by surprise has a weaker effect on us. We understand it and can prepare ourselves. Comprehensibility therefore ensures that we can at least cognitively take a step towards a solution.
If we don’t understand something, it tends to be overwhelming for us. Incomprehensibility is, among other things, a product of today’s information overload. Transparency, education and fact-checking are the biggest weapons here. Unfortunately, there are a large number of actors who, however, consciously obscure information and overlay it with different actions in order not to have to reveal the actual and necessary information.

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Retrospective 2018

Retrospective 2019