Making the most of the internal audit function: recommendations for Directors and Board Committees

On December 3, 2012 ECIIA and ecoDa have presented on December 3rd a new publication. This document is a practical tool for directors and board committees developed by the European Confederation of Institutes of Internal Auditing (ECIIA), in close cooperation with the European Confederation of Directors’ Associations (ecoDa).
This paper seeks to provide useful guidance to boards, governing bodies and individual directors that wish to make effective use of the internal audit function, particularly in respect of gaining assurance concerning the adequacy of an organisation’s risk management and internal control systems.

Internal audit is a key component of modern corporate governance. However, board structures and corporate governance systems exhibit significant variation across Europe. In some countries (e.g. the UK, France), the board consists of both senior members of management and non-executive directors. In other countries (e.g. Germany, Netherlands, or the Nordic countries), the board or supervisory board may be entirely composed of non-executive board members. In such circumstances, senior management may sit on a separate executive board or be excluded from the board altogether. In this guidance, the term “Board of Directors” is used as a generic term to refer to an organisation’s main governing body – however constituted – which assumes primary responsibility for corporate oversight on behalf of relevant stakeholders. The purpose of this guidance is to assist the members of this governing body in making the most of the internal audit function in pursuit of their governance objectives.

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