"Auditting rarely adds anything of value anywhere."
Says someone who has never seen a manager cover-up problems that proper oversight would have caught, and cost more money in the long run. You had bad auditors focused on the wrong goals. GOOD auditors are a valuable part of enterprise risk management, who are an independent means for testing assertions made by management, and who can help add value to a business or process.
If a production-and-P&L oriented process manager is telling the president that environmental regulations are being dilgently followed, do you just assume that's correct? Pray that it is and hope the fines are less that cumulative profits if it isn't? Or do you have some else review input sourcing, production and disposal regulatory compliance, to make SURE things are being done correctly?
If your CFO is telling the Board that the company's accounting processes are in-place, appropriate and effective, do you simply believe that story? Wait for the SEC or a shareholder lawsuit to eventually prove him wrong? Or do you want someone to review, test and provide a report about whether that is a complete load of bollocks?
An effective auditing and compliance program, done correctly, is a net positive to a business.
Trust, but verify.
Curious - do you ever review your payslip to make sure HR is calculating your gross and net pay correctly? Review your subordinates' work before they send it off to someone else? Check that your kids actually did their homework or brushed their teeth when they told you they did? Congratulations - you're an auditor!