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What Internal Auditors Want

Dan Swanson | February 5, 2008

In my line of work, I’m often asked exactly what internal auditing is supposed to be. According to the International Standards for the Professional Practice of Internal Auditing, the answer is pretty straightforward: “Internal auditing is an independent, objective assurance and consulting activity designed to add value and improve an organization’s operations.”

You might want an answer more expansive than those 19 words. So this month, let’s take a step back from the fine points of executing internal audits, to re-acquaint ourselves with what internal audit is and how you can make it helpful to your job.

Internal auditing provides opportunities for companies to improve based on independent analysis and advice. Internal audit also helps the board and senior management monitor the organization. To preserve the integrity and independence of audits, auditors maintain a delicate balance between offering advice (mainly consulting services) and...

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