The Future of the Internal Audit Profession

My good friend, Dan Swanson, asked me to write the introduction to his new book, Raising the Bar, with the topic being the future of the profession. Right after I sent it to him, I met with other practitioners and thought leaders in Australia, Atlanta (the IIA International Conference and committee meetings), and Malaysia.

I continue to believe strongly in the thoughts I expressed in that piece (read it here). In fact, I was encouraged by the clear movement by leading practitioners in the same directions. One IIA–Malaysia governor asked in a session with board directors how internal audit can provide assurance without expressing an opinion. I just smiled — my point exactly!

What do you think of the points in the introduction? What do you think is needed to take the profession where it needs to go?

Posted on Jun 29, 2010 by Norman Marks

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  1. As always, you raise interesting issues.

    I strongly believe in Internal Audit's role relating to a Risk Based Internal Audit approach, as indicated can be found in various IIA UK position papers. We can provide constructive challenge to the relationship between risks and controls and overall achievement of business objectives.

    In my view, the RBIA approach (of course if done properly!!) will take an Internal Audit team into more strategic areas of work, a higher visibility and relationship with the Governance team, and does require higher skill levels within Internal Audit.

    It is this latter point that I believe indicates the future of the profession.

    I believe that the awarding of "Chartered" status in the UK., by the Privy Council, will elevate the profession. From 1st October 2010, there will be Chartered Internal Auditors within the IIA family. That requires a higher degree of professionalism by the Institute, by the profession, and by individual holders of the Chartered award.

    If one looks at the qualifications of Board members, we often find Chartered Accountants, Charted Engineers, Chartered Managers.

    My view is that our aim should be to ensure that it become the norm to have a Chartered Internal Auditor on the Board. And before people scream about "Independence", surely if Governance, Risk Management, and Internal Control is so vitally important to Chief Executives, Boards, & Stakeholders, then there critical challenge and scrutiny and assurance will only be fully enabled by Internal Audit working closely in collaboration with Management....and that should be at the highest level.

    That is the future of the Internal Audit profession, and Chartered status is the vehicle that we should all be driving.

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