The Intersection of Auditing and Stoicism: Insights for Modern Businesses

Feranmi Olaseinde

Hatched by Feranmi Olaseinde

Aug 21, 2023

3 min read


The Intersection of Auditing and Stoicism: Insights for Modern Businesses


In the world of finance, auditing plays a crucial role in ensuring transparency and accountability. Nigerian banks, in particular, have been paying significant sums to auditing firms such as PwC, KPMG, EY, and Deloitte. These fees are influenced by various factors, including company size, industry, corporate risk, profitability, and audit duration. In the first quarter of 2023, Access Holding Company emerged as the top bank, paying N606 million to PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). While auditing focuses on external factors, the philosophy of Stoicism offers insights on how to navigate the modern world and find inner peace amidst external challenges.

The Stoic Perspective on External Factors:

Stoicism teaches us that relying on external things for happiness can leave us at the mercy of an unpredictable universe. Stoic philosophers subscribe to a semi-deterministic worldview, believing that everything happens for a reason, but we often cannot control those causes. For instance, we cannot control the removal of an espresso machine at work, which may disrupt our daily coffee routine. However, we can choose our reaction to such events. Stoics encourage accepting situations beyond our control, rather than wallowing in misery. By focusing on improving our inner selves, we can find peace in the face of external challenges.

Applying Stoicism to Modern Life:

In our consumer-driven society, we often seek happiness in material possessions. We convince ourselves that the next purchase, whether it's a new car, the latest smartphone, or an expensive watch, will bring us lasting joy. However, material things only provide temporary happiness. Cars break down, phones freeze up, and the novelty wears off. This constant pursuit of newer and shinier possessions traps us in a never-ending cycle of consumerism.

Actionable Advice 1: Embrace Voluntary Discomfort:

To escape the trap of consumerism, the Stoics suggest adopting a different attitude towards our purchases and the dopamine hit we get from them. One way to do this is by practicing voluntary discomfort. Challenge yourself by subjecting yourself to discomfort in something you typically enjoy. For example, take a cold shower instead of a warm one or hold on to your phone until it's no longer usable, resisting the urge to upgrade. By voluntarily embracing discomfort, we can break free from the constant desire for more and find contentment in simplicity.

Actionable Advice 2: Disconnect and Reflect:

In our digitally connected world, we rarely allow ourselves to sit with our thoughts. We fill every moment with distractions, whether it's scrolling through social media or constantly seeking entertainment. Stoicism invites us to disconnect and reflect. Start by leaving your phone behind when you go to the bathroom or taking a moment of silence during your daily commute. Embrace solitude and allow yourself to be present with your thoughts. This practice can help cultivate mindfulness and a deeper understanding of oneself.

Actionable Advice 3: Endure Discomfort:

Another way to incorporate Stoic principles into our lives is by intentionally enduring discomfort. Instead of constantly seeking comfort and convenience, challenge yourself to face discomfort head-on. For example, on a hot day, roll up the windows in your car and drive without air conditioning. By voluntarily enduring discomfort, we build resilience and develop a greater appreciation for the simple pleasures in life.


As Nigerian banks continue to pay substantial audit fees, it is essential to recognize the intersection between auditing and Stoicism. While auditing focuses on external factors to ensure financial transparency, Stoicism offers insights into how we can find inner peace amidst external challenges. By practicing voluntary discomfort, disconnecting and reflecting, and enduring discomfort, we can cultivate resilience, contentment, and a deeper understanding of ourselves. Incorporating Stoic principles into our modern lives can lead to a more balanced and fulfilling existence, both personally and professionally.

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