CBOK 2010 Report I: Characteristics of Internal Auditing

Executive Summary

In an effort to meet stakeholder expectations in the wake of the challenges of today’s global business environment, organizations have implemented significant changes in risk, control, and compliance processes. It is necessary to examine the demographics and other characteristics of the internal auditor population to assess the critical skills necessary to strategically position the profession for the long term to deliver the greatest value to the organization. Report I examines the demographics and other attributes of the global population of internal auditors. This analysis is based on the responses of 13,582 IIA members and nonmembers in more than 107 countries.

An analysis of the survey uncovered the following salient findings:

  • Internal auditors are entering the profession at a younger age. The percentage of auditors in the age group of 26 to 36 increased to 30 percent in 2010, compared to 11 percent in 2006.
  • More than two-thirds of survey respondents were male and one-third of respondents were female.
  • There is a significant increase in the percentage of internal auditors obtaining master’s/graduate and doctoral degrees.
  • There is an increase in the percentage of respondents with internal audit majors.
  • More than half of the internal audit organizations get their staff from transfers within the organization, followed by employment agencies and referrals from professional affiliations.
  • Organizations rely on co-sourcing or outsourcing to compensate for missing skills in the internal audit activity.
  • Approximately 50 percent of the respondents’ organizations will recruit more staff during the next five years, with 42 percent indicating that they will maintain current staff levels.
  • Survey results indicate that most CAEs report either to the CEO or the audit committee with variation by region. The highest percentage of CAEs reporting to audit committees was noted in the Middle East, the United States and Canada, and Latin America.
  • In five years the focus of internal audit activities will significantly differ from current practice. Corporate governance, enterprise risk management, strategic reviews, ethics audits, and migration to International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) will be the major focus areas for internal auditing with less emphasis on operational and compliance audits, auditing of financial risks, fraud investigations, and evaluation of internal controls.

Members IIA Netherlands can read the full report here.

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