Internal Audit 5 Years from Now

Jack Humphrey, Regulatory journalist
February 03, 2011 /

The coming five years will see a shift in focus of internal audit activities from the existing practice at all levels, requiring all internal auditors to be updated, according to the findings of the Institute of Internal Auditors Research Foundation (IIARF).

The study on the practice of internal auditing, 2010 Global Internal Audit Survey: A Component of the Common Body of Knowledge (CBOK), includes comments from a total of 13,582 respondents from across 107 countries. At present only two reports have been released from the five-part analysis, the other three being slated for publication in the next few months.

“It’s important for any profession to understand where it’s been, where it is today, and where it’s going. This ongoing effort allows the internal audit profession to stay relevant, vibrant and visionary,” said IIARF Vice President Bonnie Ulmer.

The first report, Characteristics of an Internal Audit Activity, says internal audit activities will focus more on corporate governance, enterprise risk management, strategic reviews, ethics audits, and migration to International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), giving less importance to operational and compliance audits, auditing of financial risks, fraud investigations, and evaluation of internal controls.

Based on the demographics findings of the report, more than 50 percent of internal audit organizations will get their staff from transfers within the organization, employment agencies, and referrals from professional affiliations. Internal audit profession will also see the emergence of the younger generation entering the industry and more internal auditors will have obtained graduate-level degrees.

The second report, Core Competencies for Today’s Internal Auditor, predicts that core competencies of internal audit practitioners will include communication skills, problem identification and solution skills, and keeping up-to-date with industry and regulatory changes and professional standards.


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