Differing views and sometimes competing interests among internal audit stakeholders — particularly board members and the C-suite — can make identifying and meeting stakeholders’ demands a challenge, according to a report based on data gleaned from the Global Internal Audit Common Body of Knowledge (CBOK) Stakeholder Study, which compiled the views of more than 1,000 internal audit stakeholders in 23 countries.
The report titled, “Voice of the Customer: What Stakeholders Are Telling Internal Audit” identifies key messages from stakeholders to internal auditors on how best to improve performance and bring value to their organizations.
According to the report, internal audit should know the organization’s mission, strategy, objective and risks. The report also notes that assurance work is highly valued and most valuable when aligned with the organization’s strategic risks.
The report also says that advisory work is highly desired from internal audit, especially in the area of risk. Meanwhile, internal audit should build relationships with management and board members based on mutual trust and respect, according to the report.
Another report released offers six imperatives for audit committees that can propel internal audit to “move beyond assurance to provide value-added advisory services, and deliver to expectations.”
Three broad themes emerged from the study regarding audit committees. According to the report, audit committees should: 1) enable internal auditors to think more broadly and strategically; 2) Encourage internal audit to move beyond assurance; and 3) Take steps to ensure CAEs and the internal audit function are effectively positioned to deliver to expectations.
The report then identifies six imperatives to support the three broad themes, including elevating the CAE’s stature, encouraging internal auditors to think beyond the scope of the audit plan, and expanding internal audit’s role on strategic risks.