April 2022

April 25, 2022

Five Characteristics of Impactful Internal Audit Departments

An evergreen challenge for internal auditors is how to make a real impact. Gone are the days when we could simply be value protectors who patrolled the organization looking for fraud, waste, and mismanagement. To make a true impact in 2022, we must also be change agents who are catalysis for transformational ideas that help create value for the organizations we serve.

If you occasionally have doubts about the impact of internal audit in your organization, you are not alone. A Deloitte survey not long ago found a staggering 60 percent of chief audit executives (CAEs) believed the internal audit function did not have a strong impact and influence within their organization.…

April 18, 2022

5 Questions the Audit Committee Should Ask Internal Audit – But Doesn’t

No relationship for a chief audit executive (CAE) has been transformed more over the past 20 years than that with the audit committee. According to The IIA’s 2022 North American Pulse of Internal Audit, 90 percent of internal audit departments in North America report functionally to the audit committee. And in publicly traded companies, that number is 95 percent. In many companies, the audit committee holds an executive session with the CAE at every meeting. A lot of questions are asked of internal audit in these meetings, but there are also many unasked questions that should be.

I have long asserted that the audit committee’s success is tied to the effectiveness of internal audit. For…

April 11, 2022

Drive-by Auditing: 5 Signs of a “Hit-and-Run”

This year marks the 20th anniversary of The IIA’s adoption of risk-based audit standards. I chaired The IIA’s Internal Audit Standards Board at the time, and we all recognized what an important milestone the new standards would reflect. Not only were internal audit’s (annual) audit plans to be developed on the basis of enterprise risks (IIA Standard 2010), but individual internal audit engagement plans were to be formulated on the basis of risks in the area, program, or function where the audit was to be undertaken (IIA Standard 2200). Prior to 2002, many internal audit departments undertook cyclical audit plans (e.g.,…

April 6, 2022

New Surveys Raise Alarm Bells for Internal Audit

I have been avidly monitoring the health of the internal audit profession for the past two decades. During my initial tenure at the IIA, later at PwC, and throughout my 12 years as IIA President and CEO, I was either initiating research/surveys or reviewing those of others to gauge the profession’s progress (or lack thereof).

Several reports in recent months paint a picture of a profession that is agile enough to pivot in the face of risk-induced disruption from the pandemic, and one that can be resilient in terms of its resources. However, upon closer look, many of these reports also reveal storm clouds building on the horizon.