William J. Mulcahy has been called “an oracle on auditing” with a “breadth and depth of understanding of the profession that is unparalleled. He leaves a legacy of increased value wherever he is involved.” Few words would better describe the longtime IIA volunteer and chapter leader and his commitment and contributions to the internal audit profession over a career spanning nearly five decades.
Mulcahy passed away unexpectedly on May 23, and will be deeply missed by family, friends, colleagues, and the many others who came to know him over the years.
“Volunteers like Bill and the impact they make encourage all of us to work a little harder to elevate this profession and each other,” said IIA President and CEO Anthony J. Pugliese. “In addition to his incredible leadership and support of internal auditors at all levels, his mentoring of students so that they would see and reap the rewards of entering our profession serves to inspire us all.”
Namesake and recipient of IIA-Atlanta's most prestigious honor, the William J. Mulcahy Excellence Through Leadership Award, Mulcahy helped shape the internal audit community in the Atlanta area, supporting the role of chief audit executive, encouraging students toward a rewarding career in internal auditing, and enabling practitioners to always expand their horizons, saying in a recent interview, “network and read, make sure it’s not all direct accounting and auditing books.”
In recent years, he also was at the forefront of efforts to create a more diverse, equitable and inclusive environment for the profession. He celebrated the chapter’s accomplishments whenever and wherever he could and, just a few days ago, proudly posted on Twitter that Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp “proclaims International Internal Audit month in Georgia for May 2021.”
“Bill didn’t merely contribute to the profession through his extensive work for our Atlanta chapter. His impact was far-reaching and his legacy of innovation and passion, particularly his support for the next generation of internal auditors, will continue to define volunteerism with The IIA and advocacy for the profession long into the future,” said William Michalisin, IIA Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer.
Mulcahy was a chapter board member since 2005, including as president and chair from 2006 to 2010 and again from 2018 to 2019. He also chaired IIA Global’s 69th annual International Conference in Atlanta in 2010, was namesake of the “Bill Mulcahy Audit and Advisory Case Competition,” and was chair of the winning team for The IIA’s prestigious 2009 International Mastering Advocacy Program (IMAP) Award, part of International Internal Audit Awareness Month.
Mulcahy was founding chair of the Advisory Board of the Internal Audit Center in the School of Accountancy of Kennesaw State University’s Coles College of Business, where he led a distinguished group of Atlanta chief audit executives and Big 4 accounting firm representatives on the board.
In 2008, Mulcahy, CIA, CPA, became an independent consultant in the new “gig” economy following a 20-year career with Emory University, including Emory Healthcare, as chief audit officer. Previously, he was with Arthur Andersen & Co. He also was City Auditor of Dunwoody, GA, and Brookhaven, GA. He also was a national chairman of the board of the Association of Healthcare Internal Auditors and received their national “Founders Award” in 2004.
A memorial mass will be held at 11 a.m. ET on Thursday, May 27, at All Saints Catholic Church, 2443 Mount Vernon Road, in Dunwoody, GA.