The International Professional Practices Framework (IPPF) and underlying International Standards for the Professional Practice of Internal Auditing (Standards) provide the Chief Audit Executive (CAE) and internal audit leadership a framework and related guidance to use in evaluating and ensuring the effectiveness of the internal audit activity. The Standards also provide internal auditing’s stakeholders a basis for evaluating the activity’s effectiveness. The Standards are applicable to all internal audit departments regardless of size, level of resources, complexity, or objective and scope.
This Practice Guide provides a working definition of the term small internal audit activity. The guide acknowledges the challenges that CAEs and audit leadership in small audit activities may face in implementing the Standards, provides suggestions for meeting those challenges, and discusses the benefits of using the Standards. Many of the challenges discussed in this guide are not unique to small audit activities; larger activities may face many of the same challenges. However, these challenges are more frequently encountered and more difficult to overcome in small audit activities.
Although the CAE of a small internal audit activity is responsible for ensuring implementation of all Standards, the degree of challenge for conformance to each standard may vary among small activities. The chart in the Introduction provides a visual summary of the degree of challenge that the CAE may face in conforming to the Standards. The chart is based on informal discussions with small audit groups and also amongst the members of The IIA’s committees. Although conformance with the Standards may pose challenges, it is possible with the development of appropriate strategy and planning. The Standards are principles-based and are meant to be applicable to internal audit activities of all sizes.