The Quest For Proffesionalism and Quality Is Advancing
For the past decade the profession of internal auditing has been elevated to a whole new level of awareness and demand. Today, internal auditors play a more significant role within their organizations, regulatory requirements have increased and the standards guiding the profession - both self-imposed and those that are mandated by external regulators - are much more rigorous. Although the profession has taken great strides and we have reason to celebrate, it’s important that we continue to focus on enhanced internal audit professionalism and adherence to the core principles and ethics of internal auditing.
Most professions have a set of principles, typically referred to as a “code of ethics,” which they follow. For internal auditors, The Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) has established a Code of Ethics that covers principles and rules governing integrity, objectivity, confidentiality, and competency. This Code of Ethics should be understood by all internal auditors and also should be made clear to those who rely on the activities performed by professional internal auditors. In addition, The IIA issues the International Standards for the Professional Practice of Internal Auditing (Standards) which provide significant mandatory guidance for its members.
The Standards require internal audit functions to establish a Quality Assurance and Improvement Program (QAIP), The establishment of the QAIP demonstrates a commitment to continuous improvement and helps internal auditors add value to their organizations.. The QAIP should include ongoing and periodic internal quality assessments (QA) and periodic external QAs. In order for your audit function to use the statement “…conducted in accordance with the International Standards for the Professional Practice of Internal Auditing,” your internal audit function must have an external QA every five years. Internal audit functions in existence on or before Jan. 1, 2002, should have completed an external QA by Jan. 1st of 2007. Departments established after Jan. 1, 2002, have five years from the date of their creation to obtain an external QA in order to comply.
Responses to a recent survey conducted by The IIA, indicate that more than 88 percent of internal auditors believe that there is a benefit from obtaining an external QA of their internal audit function. External QA’s build stakeholder confidence and provide evidence to the board, management, and staff that the internal audit activity is concerned about the organization's internal controls, ethics, governance, and risk management processes.
To learn more about Quality Assessments,, how to set up a QAIP and to gain more guidance please visit The IIA’s Website at www.theiia.org/quality.