Generative artificial intelligence (AI) is taking the world by storm. Since its launch in November 2022, ChatGPT (an AI chatbot developed by OpenAI) has been used by hundreds of millions of people worldwide. In a recent seminar I taught in Rome, more than half of the internal auditors in attendance indicated that they already use it in their professional roles.
Like many, I dipped my toe in the water and tried ChatGPT early on. Unfortunately, I asked questions that it did not answer accurately, so it lost my confidence. However, following some tips from participants in my recent seminar, I reengaged with ChatGPT – this time with more favorable results.
Several articles have been written about internal auditors use of ChatGPT, including this recent article in the IIA’s Internal Auditor magazine:
“Internal auditing is among the many professions that are realizing how ChatGPT could shape their future,” according to the article. “It’s an exciting conversation to have, but it comes with a degree of risk for early adopters. . . . For example, as sophisticated as ChatGPT is as a language platform, it is not capable of discerning whether information is accurate, nor can it appropriately cite sources for the information that is presented.”
With all the risks in mind, I decided to dive back in and find out exactly what ChatGPT would have to say about internal auditing. So, over the past week, I “interviewed” ChatGPT. Here are some of the more compelling responses:
RC: Thank you for joining me to talk about internal auditors.
ChatGPT:You’re welcome! I’m here to help you with any questions you have about internal auditors. How can I assist you today?
RC: Do you think internal audit is still a relevant profession in the 21st century?
ChatGPT: Absolutely! . . . With the increasing complexity and risks faced by organizations, internal auditors play a crucial role in providing independent assessments of an organization’s internal controls, governance processes, and risk management practices. They help identify areas of improvement, enhance operational efficiency, and ensure compliance with regulations. As technology and business landscapes evolve, internal auditors are also adapting by incorporating data analytics, cybersecurity, and digitalization into their work.
RC: What is the most important skill for an internal auditor?
ChatGPT: While internal auditors require a range of skills to excel in their roles, one skill stands out as particularly crucial: critical thinking. Critical thinking is the ability to objectively analyze and evaluate information, identify patterns, and make logical and reasoned judgments. . . . Internal auditors also need a combination of other skills, such as effective communication, adaptability, attention to detail, and knowledge of auditing principles and techniques.
RC: What are common myths about internal audit?
ChatGPT: There are several. . . . Here are a few examples:
It’s important to dispel these myths and recognize the valuable role internal audit plays in organizations as a catalyst for improvement and an objective source of assurance.
RC: What are common complaints about internal auditors?
ChatGPT: Common complaints about internal auditors can vary depending on the specific organization and context, but here are a few issues that can sometimes arise:
It’s worth noting that these complaints may not apply universally, and many organizations have highly skilled and effective internal auditors who address these concerns proactively.
RC: Will artificial intelligence replace internal auditors?
ChatGPT:AI has the potential to automate certain tasks performed by internal auditors, but it is unlikely to completely replace them. Internal audit involves not only data analysis but also critical thinking, judgement, and understanding of organizational dynamics. While AI can assist in processing large volumes of data and identifying patterns, human auditors bring contextual knowledge, professional skepticism, and the ability to make informed judgements that consider ethical, regulatory, and strategic aspects. The role of internal auditors may evolve with AI adoption, focusing more on higher-value activities like risk assessment, advisory services and enhancing governance processes.
RC: My final question – would it be safe to say you are a fan of internal audit?
ChatGPT: As an AI language model, I don’t have personal opinions or preferences. However, I can provide information and insights about various topics, including internal audit.
So, to answer the question posed in the title of this blog post: ChatGPT may not “think” anything about internal audit. But it does have a lot to say on the subject, and not surprisingly it echoes what many in our profession have been advocating for many years. I hope you find my exchange with this phenomenal new tool helpful. Share your comments on LinkedIn or Twitter or drop me a note at email@example.com.