Home > Risk > What are you doing different because of COVID-19?

What are you doing different because of COVID-19?

Please share how you are responding to COVID-19, whether in your personal or professional life.

I am especially interested in people sharing their ideas and practices so others can benefit.

  1. March 13, 2020 at 11:48 AM

    My small investigation about this virus (but it is on Russian): http://bit.ly/39Q66vs

  2. March 13, 2020 at 1:20 PM

    Norman – thanks – here is the take I had this week after a workshop with heads of audit ..



  3. Grant Purdy
    March 13, 2020 at 4:17 PM


    This online article is one of the best I’m seen that summarises what you need to do to keep safe and, if you are infected, keep others safe.


    In the absence of any coherent Australian Government advice on basic precautions, this is what we are following.

    In our family we are staying in a lot more, avoiding public transport and crowded areas and have installed a hand sanitiser bottle with instructions on the main entrance to our house – which is now the only one we use. Anyone who enters, including me, are directed to the nearest handbasin and soap so that they can properly wash their hands. We also disinfect the for handles on the route several times a day.

    Professionally, all meetings now occur on line using Zoom or Skype.

    All our overseas trips planned for this year have been cancelled to avoid airports, flying and getting stranded in another country or region.

    Stay safe!

  4. Anonymous
    March 14, 2020 at 12:35 AM

    Never waste a good disaster??? Please, at least some respect and humanity these days.

    • Anonymous
      March 14, 2020 at 12:39 AM

      Dear Norman, I’m your follower. Your reputation could be damaged if you allow such stupid comments

      • Grant Purdy
        March 14, 2020 at 1:44 AM

        Dear Roberto,

        I’m sorry if my comment caused offence.

        However, the reality is that all humans and their organisations progress by spotting and acting on opportunities. This is the basis of capitalism and all decision making.

        In my case, after spending the last few weeks helping not for profit organisations understand their vulnerabilities and develop protection strategies, on a pro bono basis, I’m now looking forward to some weeks staying at home, tackling all those gardening jobs I’ve put off for too long.

        This pandemic is certainly one of the greatest challenges faced by mankind in a generation and sadly, many people will suffer and some will die. I hope that, after we have come out the other side, humans learn lessons that we can apply to the other, and almost certainly larger challenge we face – manmade climate emergency.

        Even at a local level, organisations and their decision makers will learn from how they responded to the Coronavirus. There will always be some potential upside to be realised.

          March 14, 2020 at 4:06 AM

          Ok Grant. Thanks for your answer. I appreciate it.

          I felt offended because here in Italy, as well in China, people are already suffering and dying, so I could not accept the word “good” disaster.

          I’m quite sure there could be opportunities and resilence could be the key now and for the future. Who first reacts will win (China is the example).

          In the rest of the world you can learn from our errors, avoid unsafe behaviuors (i.e. crowded places / traveling / events) in order to minimize virus spread.


          • Grant Purdy
            March 14, 2020 at 4:48 AM


            Thank you. I realise I should also have explained that in my English form of English, ‘good’ means big or significant and not necessarily beneficial.

            But Forza Mondo, indeed.

  5. Robert
    March 14, 2020 at 6:58 AM

    We have received instructions from head office not to travel aboard to our factories to achieve social distancing. We are operational auditors and so are now trying to make the difficult decision as to what audits can be done from the desk top. This is going to be challenging as I am sure we all encounter the need to physically observe the risks a associated controls for operational audits.

    • Norman Marks
      March 14, 2020 at 7:00 AM

      Have you asked “how can we help”, as I suggested in an earlier post?

  6. Norman Marks
    March 14, 2020 at 6:58 AM

    Thank you, Roberto.

    I had hoped that we would hear what practitioners are doing that others can learn from. Maybe those people will come forward and share.

  7. Norman Marks
    March 14, 2020 at 7:03 AM

    All: while I acknowledge that all comments so far have been with positive intent, I want to focus on practical things people are doing that can help others – such as how they have changed their audit plan or are helping management develop responses.

    To encourage that kind of response, I am deleting those that are not in that vein. I hope you will understand.

  8. Tom Alger
    March 14, 2020 at 8:31 AM

    Mr. Marks, Please let me know your thoughts about viewing the virus as a distractor and the risk of key controls not being carried. My plan for Monday morning is to hold a staff meeting to talk about which controls we feel are critical and perform observations to ensure those controls are being performed.

    • Norman Marks
      March 14, 2020 at 8:36 AM

      Tom, the business and its objectives as well as related risks have in all probability changed. I would ask what are the risks today before asking what controls are critical.

      Be careful about testing the controls over last month’s business instead of what is facing the company today.

      so, as I wrote earlier, ask how you and your team can help the company. Don’t be a distraction yourselves! Do you want them spending time to help you rather than prepare for a supply chain disruption?

  9. Sidney F. Gale
    March 14, 2020 at 4:17 PM

    As an auditor in a government environment, I do not anticipate that our immediate priorities will change in the immediate future. We will audit around the situation so as not to divert management and staff from their priorities. However, what is happening today in real time is what we will be reviewing at some future time. Since current events, by definition, are taking operations out of normal operating criteria and performance standards, I think it is important for us to observe and document in some manner the current context as it evolves so that we are mindful of that context when we come back to make judgements with the benefit of hindsight.

    in our audit process, we routinely inquire of agencies regarding their emergency preparedness plans. I can anticipate that future audits may give altered attention to this area in retrospect and ask: did your plan anticipate this type of event; and how did the agency perform against that plan. The after-action assessment by agency management is a monitoring control that we rarely have the opportunity to test on this scale. It should prove an interesting exercise for both management and auditors, because in all probability we will come this way again.

    • Norman Marks
      March 14, 2020 at 4:54 PM

      Thank you for sharing

  10. simon rose
    March 17, 2020 at 10:32 AM

    Given I work in a business on thin margins and if production stops we stop I have given our ExCo a list of my team’s capabilities in terms of operating in a first line capacity if required. I have a multi-disciplined team of which many could step into operational or back off procedural roles to keeps the light on. All part of good contingency planning.

    • Norman Marks
      March 19, 2020 at 6:32 AM

      Well done!

  11. Mary Thomas
    March 19, 2020 at 5:06 AM

    I am asking how can we help and I’m asking that question often to different managers. We are receiving requests and turning those around quickly.

    I have identified the skills for each of my team members that could be leveraged across the organization and shared this. We have done this before in other times of need and my team has been effectively leveraged.

    We are assessing the impact of COVID-19 on our annual audit plan and communicating that (as requested).

    Re audits, at this time, we are working in the background to complete active audits. Any significant issues have already been communicated. We will defer close-out meetings to a later date. We are also working in the background on developing audit plans for the audits that were next in our annual plan. We may also use this “downtime” to start our IIA quality self-assessment…a project that was scheduled for later in the calendar year.

    • Norman Marks
      March 19, 2020 at 6:31 AM


  1. March 17, 2020 at 5:06 AM

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