The IIA FS Exchange Conference, Continued: Podcast With Erika Ray

Protiviti is a sponsor and speaker at The IIA’s Financial Services Exchange conference in Washington, DC this week. In today’s podcast from the conference, Erika Ray from Protiviti discusses the concept of the “borrowed idea,” which was the subject of a panel discussion Erika hosted along with three other panelists: Amazon’s Arin Slavis, Hilton Hotel Worldwides’ Denis McCarthy and Ohio State University’s Gates Garrity-Rokous. Listen below.

Podcast – Erika Ray, FS Exchange, September 18, 2019

Kevin Donahue: Hi. This is Kevin Donahue, Senior Director with Protiviti’s Marketing Group, pleased to welcome you to another edition of Powerful Insights. I am happy to be talking today with Erika Ray. Erika is one of our managing directors and a leader with our Internal Audit and Financial Advisory practice. Erika attended this week the Financial Services Exchange conference put on by The IIA in Washington, D.C. Erika, thanks for joining me.

Erika Ray: Hi, Kevin. How are you?

Kevin Donahue: Doing great, thank you. Erika, as I mentioned, I wanted to chat with you a bit about the conference and especially some of the things you heard in terms of trends, topics of conversation you may have had with people at the conference, major takeaways you had after being there for a couple of days. What are your thoughts on what you heard at the conference?

Erika Ray: This conference was reinstituted after the financial crisis and was really getting a lot of traction over the last several years annually, getting the peer group together, sharing perspectives on what’s going on, and frankly hearing from the regulatory community on where their focus areas are going to be next year.

By and large, the message this year was a pretty consistent one of things have settled down post crisis. Many of our clients and the companies and the industry have spent a lot of time, money, and effort in shoring up their controls and their processes. This year is going to be more one of continuing the steady state and making sure that there’s sustainability in all those processes that have been established.

I’m not sure if you’re aware but we also hosted our own panel at the conference. One of the focus areas was this concept of the borrowed idea, and so we brought leaders in from outside of financial services. I shared with a peer group as we were kicking off the panel that, while I thought we’ve done a really good job over the last several years of being open and having roundtable forums to share ideas in the conference, we hadn’t really heard from outside of our fairly narrow sphere within the financial services and the world of internal audit, so it was really interesting. We had representatives from the tech industry, from higher ed, and from hospitality all in roles outside of the third line sharing perspectives with the audience.

Kevin Donahue: Erika, that’s really interesting. A quick follow-up question on that. Did you hear from the panelists or these panelists who are outside of the financial services industry some ideas or insights that you don’t see maybe employed or used regularly within financial services?

Erika Ray: Well, the good news is, because we’ve been so highly regulated, I think the industry, and the profession of audit has been focused for a long time on both building strong processes and improving them along the way. The good news is we’re not missing something, a whole facet of something that’s happening in the rest of the industry. I think what was a consistent theme across all those varied industries from the panelists were things like, while you’re heavily regulated, while you’re required to be independent, don’t allow those things to be guardrails, throw up walls, and completely create a barrier from you to be thinking more broadly. We focused the discussion around technology changes but, in the business and within audit function, talent, which it doesn’t really matter what industry you’re in. If you’re a service provider in internal audit, your talent is key.

Then the last category of the session was really around risk, and so the ability for these folks outside of financial services to talk about some of risks they’re seeing was interesting, too. You can’t have any dialogue that doesn’t involve technology and digital and cyber, and one of the takeaways from this conversation was that the other industries are dealing just as prevalently with this balance of speed to market or whatever the technological change is and how you put the proper governance around it. We had a really good dialogue on that.

Kevin Donahue: That’s really interesting. Thanks for sharing those insights, Erika. I can’t help but think again about some of the things that we’ve written and published on the next generation of internal auditing where we speak about new approaches to talent models and the need for enabling technologies. I want to direct to those in our audience interested in more information on those topics to visit

Again, Erika, thanks for joining me. It has been great speaking with you. I want to remind our audience to subscribe to our Powerful Insights podcast feed on Apple or wherever you find your podcast content.

Erika Ray: Thanks, Kevin.

[End of Recording]

Listen to additional podcasts by Protiviti and read other posts related to internal auditing.

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