Proposal Seeks to Make Internal Audit Profession More Responsive to Changes

The Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) has proposed enhancements to the International Professional Practices Framework (IPPF) and a 90-day exposure period amid heightened legislative, regulatory and market-driven demands on the internal audit profession.

Among the key enhancements is the creation of an emerging issues guidance category to assist practitioners in addressing emerging trends more quickly.

The IPPF encompasses all the authoritative standards and guidance promulgated by The IIA, the profession’s global standard-setting body.

The IPPF is essentially the blueprint for how the body of knowledge and guidance fit together to support the professional practice of internal auditing.

A global task force commissioned by The IIA is recommending several substantive enhancements to the framework, including introduction of a mission statement and core principles, as well as new guidance designed to focus on emerging issues.

The proposed changes would not affect the content of existing key IPPF elements, such as the definition of internal auditing, the Code of Ethics or the Standards for the Professional Practice of Internal Auditing.

However, the standards are constantly being evaluated and could be revised to support the proposed framework revisions.

“The IPPF serves the global internal audit profession very well, and these proposed modifications come after a comprehensive review by a global task force of skilled internal audit practitioners,” said Larry Harrington, IIA senior vice chairman of the board and the IPPF Re-look Task Force Steering Committee chairman.

“After months of careful consideration, we are proposing enhancements we believe make the IPPF more reflective of the profession’s core principles and mission, and more responsive to changes in the marketplace.”

Central to the 90-day exposure period is a survey available to the more than 180,000 IIA members worldwide, as well as regulators and other key stakeholders of the internal audit profession.

Comments sought on exposure draft

The exposure draft outlines the proposed changes and seeks evaluation and comments on each. The deadline for responses is Nov. 3.

If approved by The IIA Executive Committee and Global Board post exposure, elements of the new framework could be available in the first quarter of 2015. A more fully populated new framework could then be as available sometime in 2016.

The IPPF review, the first since 2007, led to a proposed mission statement and a previously unarticulated set of core principles for the profession.

Significant value to practitioners

The new set of core principles, 12 in all, highlight what effective internal auditing looks like in practice as it relates to the individual auditor, the internal audit function, and internal audit outcomes.

The core principles applying to individuals, for example, would include demonstrating uncompromised integrity, and displaying objectivity and commitment to competence.

“It has been gratifying working with such a talented group of internal audit professionals as part of this effort,” said Robert Hirth, IPPF Re-look Task Force chairman. “I truly believe the proposed enhancements, especially the new principles, will be of significant value to practitioners worldwide.”

Additionally, a key enhancement to the IPPF would be creation of an emerging issues guidance category to assist practitioners in addressing more quickly emerging trends, changing stakeholder expectations, identified regulatory or legislative concerns, and/or new topical issues.

Essential to the emerging issues guidance is the understanding that it would be developed and issued with minimal delay.

The task force also recommends restructuring guidance elements of “practice advisories” and “practice guides” to better reflect their intent, including renaming them as “implementation guidance” and “supplemental guidance,” respectively.

The new structure would not eliminate the content of existing practice guides and practice advisories, but it is envisioned that they would be revised, re-issued or replaced over time.

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