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Foundations of Internal Auditing in Financial Services Firms

Recommended The IIA Sep 10, 2021

Recommended Guidance 


There is a gap in internal audit-specific guidance supporting the education and training of financial services auditors. The industry requires its practitioners to have specific knowledge that addresses functions in a unique atmosphere, such as requirements and expectations of regulators, complexity of products, and the role of internal auditors.

The demand for internal auditors with financial services knowledge and experience is growing rapidly, propelled by regulatory pressures to appropriately staff internal audit programs with the right volume and caliber of resources. This has led many internal audit activities within the highly regulated financial services industry to increase their staff in accordance with the new global operating environment and in terms of quality and quantity.

This guidance will enable internal auditors to:

  • Understand the financial sector environment, including key objectives, business areas, and related risks as well as the impact of globally accepted principles that provide the foundation for laws and regulations within the industry.
  • Identify industry-specific risks relevant for the jurisdiction in which a company operates and commonly used frameworks.
  • Identify the roles and assurance activities of the second line of defense functions within financial services that provide coverage of sector-specific risks.
  • Understand the relationship internal audit has with its external regulator/supervisor and how to effectively manage expectations of the regulator while maintaining a reporting relationship to the board.
  • Understand how the second-line functions can integrate activities such as risk assessment, planning, leveraging engagement work and conclusions, and reporting results.


The Institute of Internal Auditors