Enabling Internal Audit to Make a Difference
The board of directors—whether it is the board in a unitary or single-tier structure or the supervisory board in a dual or two-tiered structure—is a key stakeholder of internal audit with needs that internal auditors are uniquely positioned to provide. Most often, the board’s primary interface with internal audit is through its audit committee.
The CBOK 2015 stakeholder study offers insights as to the expectations of audit committees of internal audit. For audit committees, the insights provide a catalyst for taking stock of committee members’ interactions with and use of the internal audit function. For any progressive chief audit executive (CAE), these expectations offer opportunities to take the initiative to advance relationships with this vitally important stakeholder group by improving internal audit’s value proposition. Thus, the insights offer a pathway to continuous improvements that benefit all.
Three broad themes emerged from the study. Audit committees should:
- Enable internal auditors to think more broadly and strategically as they plan for, execute, and report on their work.
- Encourage internal audit to move beyond assurance to enhance its value proposition.
- Take steps to ensure CAEs and the internal audit function are effectively positioned to deliver to expectations.