The IIA Research Foundation undertakes a global survey every five years to assess the state of the practice of the internal audit profession. This Common Body of Knowledge (CBOK) research has been undertaken periodically for decades, and it has provided a rich window into the profession for The IIA, academic researchers, internal audit practitioners, and others around the world.
The CBOK 2015 Practitioner Survey, the third global initiative of its kind, was offered in 23 languages with participation from 14,500 practitioners representing more than 150 chapters and 106 institutes in 166 countries/territories. By the time all of the research is analyzed, more than 25 reports will be produced based on the CBOK results, all of which will be accessible and downloadable from the CBOK Resource Exchange website. More than a dozen are planned for 2016.
Like many internal audit professionals, I have been intrigued by the CBOK reports produced to date and have found them to be a source of valuable insight into the state of the modern internal audit profession. However, I couldn’t help but want to look at the raw data myself. With the help of IIA Research Foundation staff, I recently sat down to pore through a 255-page document containing the responses to the almost 100 questions in the CBOK practitioner survey. I was looking for valuable nuggets of information that would validate for me the progress the profession is making. There were plenty to be sure.
There was lots of good news for the profession in the data. For example:
There were also statistics that indicate opportunities for improvement. For example, more than one-fifth of respondents indicate that they only conduct a risk assessment once a year, and use that as the basis for their audit plan for the upcoming year. Furthermore, only about 18 percent update their audit plans three or more times each year. This is hardly a recipe for auditing at the speed of risk.
One of my objectives for reviewing the raw data, however, was to identify some key statistics that would indicate the progress the profession is making in the second decade of the 21st century. I was looking for critical indicators that the profession is still on the remarkable trajectory that has characterized its progress for the past 30 years. I found plenty of such statistics, but there are five that are worth highlighting at every opportunity:
I always glean a great deal of insight from review of internal audit survey data. The process reenergizes me. I pledge that I will continue my part to build on the progress the profession is making while dedicating my energy, and that of The IIA, to lead the profession in responding to those areas that warrant improvement.
The final chapter of the 2015 CBOK project will be publishing results of the Stakeholder Survey starting in the coming months. Once again, I am sure we will see progress as well as improvement opportunities for the profession.
I welcome your thoughts on the progress of the profession.