The Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) has officially recognized what many Protiviti associates and clients have known for years: Maureen Cooper, CIA, is an up-and-coming leader in the internal audit profession!
Each year The IIA, the widely recognized advocate, educator and provider of internal audit standards, guidance and certifications, officially names a group of its members under the age of 30 as emerging leaders. They are judged to be young professionals who have demonstrated innovation, integrity, knowledge and passion. Only 15 people earned that honor in 2021, and Maureen and the other honorees are profiled in the October 2021 issue of Internal Auditor magazine.
Building Expertise in Agile Auditing
Maureen’s career accomplishments to date fueled this recognition. A senior manager in the IT Audit practice in Dallas, she has successfully led engagements in several internal audit areas across industries, including financial services, consumer products and manufacturing. She has become particularly expert in what is known as “agile auditing,” when an internal audit function adapts to focus on stakeholder needs, accelerate audit cycles, drive timely insights and reduce wasted efforts and generate less documentation.
In 2018, Maureen was tasked by Protiviti management to develop Next-Gen Agile Audit materials. Since then, she has contributed to and led several external-facing webinars, virtual trainings and blog posts. She has also conducted Protiviti self-study trainings on the application and use of Agile Audit and was a speaker for widely attended webinars. Maureen’s accomplishments led to her assuming the role of PMO for the Next-Gen Agile Audit practice and adding a junior colleague to her team.
Maureen practices what she preaches, regularly interviewing clients on their Agile Audit experiences and providing them with advice that is tailored to their size, risk profile and complexity. In a rapidly changing business environment, such individualized recommendations are critical to meeting clients’ particular needs.
Innovative Approach Crosses Fields
Maureen’s expertise goes beyond Agile Audit. Since April 2020, she has also been leading a Protiviti global strategic initiative focused on innovating its control testing services using emerging technology and alternative delivery models. She and her two team members have defined, established, and piloted Protiviti’s Control Testing & Innovation Center (CTIC), which is designed to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of testing.
The team’s work has resulted in the standardization of more than 70 controls and the development of procedures, protocols and templates to ensure repeatability of key processes in testing centers.
“Maureen leads her teams with confidence all while applying a sound risk-mindset to identify potential obstacles and related solutions,” said Managing Director Angelo Poulikakos. “Her project management and organizational skills combined with her authentic and collaborative style has made her a critical success factor of the team.”
Service to the Profession – and the Community
Maureen shares her expertise with the internal audit community as an active member of The IIA. She has been a guest speaker on Agile Auditing at meetings of The IIA’s Louisville, KY, and Los Angeles chapters.
Before relocating to Protiviti Dallas in 2021, Maureen led Protiviti Chicago’s iCare committee for three years. As committee chair, she led a wide range of local community service activities, helping to organize events such as toy and book drives, gift bags and sponsored activities in support of such non-profits as the Salvation Army, Lurie Children’s Hospital, Chicago’s Bernie’s Book Band and many more.
Guiding the Next Emerging Leaders
In addition to mentoring her junior colleague on her Next-Gen Agile Audit practice team, Maureen has worked with entry-level consultants participating in Protiviti’s two-year Foundations program, providing experience and exposure to best practices in control testing early in their careers. Maureen’s involvement doesn’t end there. She stays connected with those she has mentored, not just for their benefit, but for hers. Maureen thrives on their fresh approaches to the ever-changing and complex internal audit challenges.
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