With dramatic changes in the business environment over the past few years, many internal audit departments are caught in a kind of feedback loop—eager to help steer organizations in a new direction, but struggling to demonstrate their ability to be agents of change.

Studies by the Institute of Internal Auditors and PwC suggest that after years of focus on financial reporting controls thanks to the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, internal auditors are still trying to put down their pencils and lift heads so they can take a broader look at organizational risk. To participate in the larger landscape, however, they are finding they ...