Skip to Content

New Internal Audit Foundation Survey Finds the Internal Audit Profession Growing in North America

Press Release The IIA Mar 11, 2024

LAKE MARY, Fla. (March 11, 2024) – The results of The 2024 North American Pulse of Internal Audit Surveyreleased today by the Internal Audit Foundation, find a growing profession, with Chief Audit Executives (CAEs) more than twice as likely to have increased staff (26%) than to have decreased staff (9%). Additionally, after sharp cuts due to the COVID pandemic in 2020 and 2021, significantly more internal audit functions are now increasing their budgets (36%) than are decreasing them (13%), according to the new survey of senior internal audit professionals.

“In today’s evolving risk environment, it’s crucial for organizations to allocate more resources to their internal audit functions,” said Anthony Pugliese, CIA, CPA, CGMA, CITP, President and CEO of the Institute of Internal Auditors (The IIA). “Internal audit teams need adequate support to provide objective assurance and help manage risks effectively. As businesses embrace advanced technology for competitive advantage, internal audit leaders play a vital role in ensuring companies understand and address risks through robust internal controls.”

The survey found internal audit teams place high priority on cybersecurity and IT audits, which combine for nearly 20% of audit plans. That’s compared to operational auditing (17%), compliance (14%), and financial reporting (14%).

“This year’s survey results revealed some very interesting takeaways, including increased investment in technology, growing gender parity in the profession, and generational differences in approaching remote work,” said Pugliese. “These results point to a dynamic and evolving profession.”

Artificial Intelligence

More than 40% of internal audit leaders are actively researching the future use of AI, with 15% actively using AI in their internal audit activities. As businesses begin to adopt AI into their operations, 11% of respondents are auditing the use of AI in their organizations. The report notes that these statistics may increase over the course of the next year as AI use rapidly evolves.

“The IIA’s Pulse survey serves as an annual snapshot of what the profession is focused on at a given moment in time,” said Harold Silverman, CIA, CRMA, QIAL, CPA, Senior Director – CAE and Corporate Governance Engagement, IIA. “In addition to providing historical benchmarks that allow CAEs to identify trends over the course of years, each report explores prominent topics impacting organizations and how internal audit teams are approaching them.”

Additional Findings

  • Internal audit functions led by Millennials are more likely to perform some or all of their work outside of the office. Only 17% of Millennial-led functions do most or all of their work in person, compared to 28% of functions led by Gen X and 34% of functions led by Baby Boomers.
  • This year’s report revealed more gender parity for CAEs and directors in younger generations. Among Baby Boomer respondents, 33% were female and 67% were male; among Gen Xers, 48% were female and 52% were male; among Millennials, 50% were female and 50% were male.
  • When asked across all respondents what topics they consider during audits in general, 89% cited fraud as a part of their considerations, followed by 80% who considered IT and 66% noting cybersecurity as a part of their audit considerations. Governance or culture were considered by 65%, with 61% citing third party relationships. Expense reduction was reported as a part of audit considerations for roughly half of all respondents.
  • If CAEs had access to additional funds beyond their current budgets, nearly half (49%) would prioritize increasing their in-house staff.
  • Nearly one-third of respondents report having hired a recent college graduate in the past year. Internal audit functions with more than 25 full time employees are more likely to hire recent college graduates than smaller functions.

The IIA thanks AuditBoard, Deloitte, and Grant Thornton for their support of the Internal Audit Foundation and for their help making the 2024 Pulse report possible.

Download the full Pulse Survey report.


The 2024 North American Pulse of Internal Audit survey was conducted online from November 3 to December 5, 2023, yielding 448 qualified responses from senior internal audit professionals.

The IIA’s annual Pulse report, published by the Internal Audit Foundation, provides benchmarks to help leaders plan and manage internal audit functions. With survey data going back to 2008, Pulse reports speak to current conditions and long-term trends for internal audit budgets, staff, audit plans, risk assessments, and more.

About the Internal Audit Foundation

The Internal Audit Foundation, supported by the generosity of its donors, advances the practice of the profession by executing global research to explore issues impacting the profession and funding academic initiatives that support the pursuit and promotion of internal audit education within institutions of higher education.

About The Institute of Internal Auditors and the Internal Audit Profession

Internal auditing is an independent, objective assurance and consulting activity designed to add value, improve an organization’s operations, and help organizations meet their goals. Internal auditors are strategic business partners who bring an in-depth understanding of business culture, systems, and processes, which helps them evaluate and improve the effectiveness of risk management, control, and governance processes.

The Institute of Internal Auditors (The IIA) is an international professional association that serves more than 245,000 global members and has awarded more than 195,000 Certified Internal Auditor (CIA) certifications worldwide. Established in 1941, The IIA is recognized throughout the world as the internal audit profession's leader in standards, certifications, education, research, and technical guidance.

For more information, visit

Media Contact

James Schiavone


The Institute of Internal Auditors