As global leaders in the internal audit profession convene in New York this week, there’s more new guidance and intelligence emerging on how internal audit can raise its game in the face of rising regulatory expectations and market demands.
First, the Institute of Internal Auditors has released two new reports compiled from its annual Common Body of Knowledge study, which polled more than 1,000 internal audit stakeholders globally on a wide variety of topics. The first report capsulizes key messages from internal audit stakeholders that provide some insight on where internal auditors can best improve their performance and bring value to their organizations.
The report, titled Voices of the Customer: What Stakeholders Are Telling Internal Audit, provides fresh reminders to the internal audit profession to understand the organization’s mission, strategy, objectives and risks as they go about their audit work. It points out that assurance work is most valuable to the organization when it is aligned with strategic risks, and that stakeholders value advisory input from internal auditors, especially with respect to risk. The report also implores internal auditors to build relationships with management and board members to establish mutual respect and trust.
The second report, Six Audit Committee Imperatives: Enabling Internal Audit to Make a Difference, is targeted at audit committees to provide suggestions on how to best internal audit. The report focuses on three broad themes to help audit committees steer internal audit, including enabling internal auditors to think more broadly and strategically, encouraging internal auditors to move beyond assurance, and assuring the chief audit executive and internal audit function are effectively positioned to deliver.
The IIA and its research partner Protiviti have indicated the two newest reports are part of a series of reports that will focus on different aspects of the study findings. ”The insights gained from the CBOK study provide a clear pathway for chief audit executives to elevate the value proposition of internal audit and for audit committees and other stakeholders to enable progress toward that goal,” said Brian Christensen, Protiviti's executive vice president, global internal audit, in a statement.
In addition to the CBOK reports, the Institute of Internal Auditors also recently released three new implementation guides that address some foundational issues and some emerging internal audit practices that practitioners will want to consider. Guide 1010 is focused on the definition of internal auditing, the code of ethics, and the standards in the internal audit charter. Guide 2500 addresses how to monitor progress, and Guide 2600 offers tips on communicating the acceptance of risk to internal audit stakeholders.
Finally, Protiviti separately prepared a report that examines the perspectives of women internal audit leaders, profiling some 22 companies and topics to provide insights into how some key women in the profession are dealing with the emerging challenges of the day. The 2016 edition of “Internal Audit Around the World” profiles internal audit leaders at Accenture, Barclays, Baylor Scott & White Health, Delta Airlines, Nordstrom, and Obara, among others. The features touch on such topics as technology, data visualization, data analytics, and cybersecurity, among others.