Agile Performer


Agile Perfomer - Internal Auditor December 2017

Prompted by rapid organizational change, the CAE at a multinational insurance firm adopted a radically different audit model.

Ralph Daals, group chief auditor of London-based RSA Insurance, is passionate about the journey he and his team have been on over the past two years. “The seeds for the transformation were sown in October 2013 when internal audit uncovered significant irregularities during a routine review in our Irish business,” he explains. “That event was publicly reported and brought home the message that, in the end, internal audit will be judged by the things it misses.”

This clarity about internal audit’s accountability led to new, forwardlooking expectations of the function. Daals recalls: “Our chairman put it nicely — ‘I would like you to be able to tell me that the building is about to catch fire, as opposed to pointing me to it after the event.’” 

Meanwhile, RSA was transforming with an agenda of significant strategic rationalization, cost reduction, and operational turnaround. The company was changing rapidly with innovations around big data, robotics, and more digital and agile developments; and with these changes a new profile of risks emerged. “Typically, internal audit follows the company,” Daals says, “but we were driven to make a huge leap to get ahead and stay ahead.”

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