IN THIS ISSUE
Oh What a Difference 1,824 Days Make!
In 1976, The IIA Research Foundation (IIARF) came to life. Its first three decades of existence offer too many milestones to mention, but some notable highlights include the Systems Auditability and Control (SAC) study, the Competency Framework for Internal Auditing (CFIA), and the Common Body of Knowledge (CBOK) study. Additionally, research opportunities were expanded through the creation of vehicles like the Endorsed Internal Audit Program (now known as the Internal Audit Education Partnership (IAEP) program), the Esther R. Sawyer Scholarship, and the William G. Bishop III, CIA, Memorial Fund. As we reflected on The IIARF’s accomplishments during its 30th anniversary, we were determined not to rest on our laurels. However, we could not have imagined how much further we would have come just 1,824 days later.
We make note of the number of days because we realize that it is the day-in and day-out efforts of those who work for, with, and on behalf of The Foundation that turns breaks the big picture into manageable snapshots that come together to equal progress. As we celebrate 35 years of advancing the profession through research, we would like to thank all of those who have made The Foundation’s goals realities and highlight some of The IIARF’s most recent accomplishments.
In 2007, The IIARF published the first internal audit textbook, a collaboration of three academics and three practitioners. Kurt Reding, CIA; Paul Sobel, CIA; Urton Anderson, CIA, CCSA, CGAP; Michael Head, CIA; Sridhar Ramamoorti, CIA, CFSA, CGAP; and Mark Salamasick, CIA, CISA, CSP, formed the powerhouse team that married academic theory with real-world knowledge. The textbook is used by numerous universities and colleges around the world to educate upcoming internal auditors.
By 2008, the foundation of the global economy had been shaken and organizations were relying on internal audit more than ever before to provide assurance and restore some sense of stability to a crumbling public confidence. Knowing that meeting the needs of practitioners would require faster access to information, The IIARF initiated an overhaul of its bookstore’s ordering system. In April 2008, the IIARF bookstore realized full e-commerce capabilities. This allowed order forms to be auto-populated, reducing time and eliminating risk of human error, and enabled orders to be processed more efficiently, putting products in practitioner hands sooner. Eliminating the old labor-intensive process provided a better customer experience. Additionally, eliminating the manual processes by the fulfillment house saved manpower, allowing The Foundation to realize substantial cost savings.
In addition to providing customers with a better online experience at The IIARF bookstore website, The Foundation also worked to enhance the onsite bookstore at IIA conferences, seminars, and events. A point-of-sale (POS) system was implemented by The IIARF that made purchasing books while at an event fast and easy. The new system reduced lines at the bookstore and enhanced the level of security with which transactions were processed. As with the implementation of the bookstore’s online e-commerce capabilities, the introduction of the POS system to the onsite bookstore eliminated labor-intensive, manual processes. The savings realized allowed the system to pay for itself in record time.
To keep the bookstore content fresh, The IIARF has explored ways over the last five years to fund research projects through relationship building. The IIARF leadership came together to structure programs that would actively seek out support from chapter and organizations and share The IIARF’s story. The result was the expansion of The IIA’s Principal Partners Program to include support for The IIARF and the introduction of its Research Alliance, an initiative that allows chapters and organizations to support targeted research projects of high interest to their constituencies. In 2011, the expansion of the Principal Partners Program alone generated more than $90,000 in support for research, and through a combination of multi-year commitments and one-time donations, IIA chapters have rallied behind the Research Alliance with more than $250,000 in support.
Finally, we cannot conclude without mentioning the 2010 Common Body of Knowledge (CBOK) study. Released at The IIA’s 2011 International Conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, it is the most comprehensive study ever conducted on the profession of internal auditing. It is comprised of two components:The IIA Global Internal Audit Survey, a follow-up to the 2006 survey; and the Stakeholders’ Expectations and Perceptions Survey, launched in the United States only as a pilot survey. With involvement from more than 80 IIA institutes around the world, the Global Internal Audit Survey generated 13,582 responses from practitioners in more than 107 countries and 22 languages.
The growth of the study from 2006 was impressive. In addition to adding the stakeholders’ survey to the 2010 study, The IIARF also developed a feedback intelligence (FI) tool, a searchable database that houses the responses from both the 2006 and 2010 surveys that can be accessed by IIA institutes and researchers for future projects.
“The 2010 CBOK study is a valuable reference tool that documents the evolution of the profession of internal audit worldwide,” says IIARF President Patricia Scipio, CIA. “For the first time, we have concrete input from our constituents and recommended techniques to stay closer to our customers.”
It is hard to believe all of these accomplishments have been realized in just the last five years. When asked what he believes is the secret to The IIARF’s longevity and tremendous success, IIA President Richard Chambers, CIA, offered this: “Over the last 35 years internal auditing has changed dramatically. However, The IIARF has remained consistent in not only its commitment to serving the profession but in its approach. Its research priorities have maintained an exceptional balance between exploring issues that proactively anticipate practitioners’ needs and those that are responsive to what is required in this moment in time — two components necessary to stay relevant. By taking a holistic approach to the needs of the practitioner, and thereby the profession, they have found the keys to success.”
“We are embarking on another exciting year of projects and initiatives in 2012 — offering many more IIARF bookstore educational products in digital formats and exploring topics such as Internal Audit Communication, Responding to Significant Risk Events, Fraud in Emerging Markets and Global Security, Auditing Ethical Behavior, and more,” IIARF Vice President Margie Bastolla, CIA, shared. “I’m so proud to join an organization with a huge legacy committed to advancing the internal audit profession with innovative research, knowledge, and education. It will be an exciting five-year journey leading into our 40th anniversary of The Foundation that we share with our volunteers, donors, sponsors, boards, committees, and staff. ”
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