Emory Report
May 7, 2007
Volume 59, Number 30

Emory Report homepage  

May 7, 2007
Emory's chief audit officer leads internal audit awareness efforts

By Kim urquhart

May 6-12 marks the first observance of Internal Auditor Awareness Week in Georgia, recently proclaimed by Gov. Sonny Perdue. Instrumental in gaining this statewide recognition for the contributions of internal auditors was William Mulcahy, chief audit officer for Emory’s internal audit division.

Mulcahy, president of the Institute of Internal Auditors Atlanta Chapter, explained that the move is part of the international professional association’s “advocacy program to raise the level of awareness of what internal auditors do.”

Internal auditors help their organizations meet their objectives by monitoring risks and ensuring that the controls in place are adequate to mitigate those risks, explained Mulcahy, a long-time member of the Emory community who has served as chief audit officer since 1994. Internal auditors serve — along with an organization’s board, executive management and external auditors — as a “cornerstone” of corporate governance, ensuring that their businesses comply with new legislation and regulations.

At Emory, Mulcahy oversees the internal audit functions for the University and Emory Healthcare. Mulcahy and his staff have helped to implement relevant compliance efforts under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, including assisting in the launch of Emory’s institution-wide financial attestation process for improved financial governance practices, and are leading the University’s implementation of the recently-adopted Emory Trust Line (1-888-550-8850), a confidential method for reporting fraud and misconduct.

“Mulcahy’s implementation of a fraud awareness program combined with an enhanced focus on improving Emory’s internal control environment has contributed greatly to Emory’s vision of an ethically engaged financial steward,” said Mike Mandl, executive vice president for finance and administration.

His leadership also has played a valuable role in service to the internal audit community. His involvement within the IIA Atlanta Chapter has improved chapter relations, activities and membership, and has increased his ongoing interactions with chief audit executives across Atlanta.

Mulcahy explained that he incorporated elements of Emory’s Excellence Through Leadership program and applied it to the IIA Atlanta Chapter. “In my inaugural speech as president, I set out five goals for the internal audit community in Atlanta,” Mulcahy said. That was June 2006. Nearly a year later, the Atlanta chapter has accomplished each of those goals.

Among them: Atlanta earned the bid to host the association’s premier event, the 2010 IIA International Conference, expected to draw 3,500 to 4,500 auditors from all over the world. Atlanta was also awarded the IIA Southeastern Regional Conference to be held this September, and in July, Mulcahy will be traveling as the Emory representative to the IIA International Conference in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. He is currently guiding the organization toward its next goal: to become a top-five, internationally recognized Platinum IIA chapter.

Through his leadership in the IIA, and the networking opportunities it affords, Mulcahy brings the best internal audit practices to Emory. His efforts further Emory’s focus on “contributing excellence,” Mandl said. During Internal Auditor Awareness Week, for example, Mandl will share Emory’s leading-edge enterprise-wide risk management process with chief auditors from Duke, Vanderbilt, Northwestern and MD Anderson Cancer Center.