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Root Cause Analysis for Internal Audit

Practical approaches to new ways of internal auditing


An opportunity to work with James Paterson and other colleagues to share good practice in internal audit looking at progressive ways of working to demonstrate value add, insight and agility and to be able to work on key issues. Newly up-dated to be a webinar. Delivered in sections to allow participants to keep working each day, but also gain valuable skills and CPE points. 

Delivering Insights with impact: Root cause analysis 

• The difference between immediate, contributing and root causes 

• The power and short-comings of the 5 whys technique 

• The 5 whys 2 legs technique – including prevention and detection questions 

• A fault tree / logic tree for investigations – applying the pareto principle 

• The compromise approach – fishbone 

• Causal loop diagrams / Systems thinking 

• Why a person is rarely a root cause – Human error and just culture 

• How root cause analysis will help shorten audit reports 

• Using root cause analysis to do better thematic analysis of findings and address repeat issues 

• How root cause analysis can often speed up assignment delivery 



About James Paterson

Former Chief Audit Executive for AstraZeneca PLC from 2002-2009. Prior to that: various corporate and commercial finance roles, culminating as Head of Group Financial Reporting for AstraZeneca PLC and - after working on a Masters Degree In Management - seconded into HR to be head of Global Leadership Development programmes.


Set up a consulting business in 2010 providing training, development and coaching in the following key areas: 

  • Risk Assurance Mapping 

  • Lean/Agile Auditing (James is the author of Lean Auditing published by J Wiley in 2015), 

  • Auditing Culture, 

  • Root Cause Analysis for Internal Audit, 

  • Influencing and Political Savvy for Internal Audit 


Open courses with 12 IIA institutes across Europe, including Belgium, Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Switzerland, Sweden and the UK. 

Speaker at the IIA International Conferences in 2012, 2014 and 2016; Chair of the EU IAS conference 2017 and 2018 and speaker at the US GAM conference in 2019 on lean/agile auditing. 

Masters Degree in management, McGill University, Canada, specialising in organisational effectiveness and culture change. CIA qualified. 



James Paterson


22/11: 13.00-14.45 and 15.00-16.30 

23/11: 09.00-10.30 and 10.45-12.15 

CPE Credits



Member 495 EUR 

Non-member 570 EUR




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