Mort Dittenhofer's Legacy as Educator and Advocate Influenced Many
Mortimer A. Dittenhofer’s was arguably one of internal auditing’s standard bearers. Indeed, he was instrumental in writing standards for the profession, co-authored the pre-eminent reference guide “Sawyer’s Internal Auditing,” and was a lifelong learner, educator, and advocate of internal auditing. It is with great sadness that The Institute of Internal Auditors learned of his death on March 4. Mort Dittenhofer was 102 years old.
Dittenhofer’s contributions to The IIA and to the profession were expansive and impactful. A member of The IIA since 1969, Dittenhofer, Ph.D., CIA, CGFM, remains the only internal audit practitioner to be honored with both the prestigious Bradford Cadmus Memorial (1985) and Leon R. Radde Distinguished Educator of the Year (1989) awards, and is one of the few recipients of The IIA’s Lifetime Achievement Award (2002).
“Mort truly set the standard for the internal audit profession, and his many contributions greatly influenced existing practitioners as well as future generations,” said IIA President and CEO Richard F. Chambers., CIA, QIAL, CGAP, CCSA, CRMA. “His service to our profession was more than remarkable: It is a model for all of us who strive to promote and enhance the role of internal auditing in the public and private sectors.”
Dittenhofer’s professional life was integral to internal auditing’s modern history. A former government accountant turned educator, he directed development and implementation of government audit standards, known as the “Yellow Book,” while on the staff of what is now the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO). He also served as executive vice president of the Association of Government Accountants. His work in creating government audit standards was cited by The IIA in 2014 as inspiration in the development of the organization’s American Center for Government Auditing. He also was a two-term member of the committee that developed The IIA’s International Standards for the Professional Practice of Internal Auditing.
The author of more than 30 articles and numerous important books on government auditing, ethics, and internal auditing, Dittenhofer also edited government auditing and accounting reference series and was co-editor of IIA case studies on ethics.
In addition to his work at the GAO, Dittenhofer practiced internal auditing at the former Atomic Energy Commission, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and the U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. In World War II, Dittenhofer attained the rank of colonel in the Army and served in United States, England, France, and Germany. He also was part of the effort to account for German property recovered during the Allies’ advance.
Dittenhofer was Emeritus Professor of Accounting at Florida International University in Miami. Before retiring, he was director of the School of Accounting at Florida International, where he laid the foundation for internal audit education by establishing The IIA’s Endorsed Internal Auditing Program. That program evolved to become what is now the Internal Auditing Education Partnership (IAEP) at dozens of colleges and universities around the world.
He earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from Macalester College, St. Paul, Minn., a master of business administration at Northwestern University, and a doctorate in business administration at American University in Washington, D.C. Dittenhofer also taught at American University, Georgetown University, George Washington University, Catholic University, and DePaul University in Chicago.
Dittenhofer is survived by two children and three step-children and numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren. His memorial service will be at 11 a.m. March 26 at the Riderwood Chapel in Silver Spring, Md., with a reception to follow. The family requests donations to The Cancer Research Institute in New York City in lieu of flowers.