Established in 1941, The Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) is an international professional association with global headquarters in Lake Mary, Florida, USA. The IIA is the internal audit profession's global voice, recognized authority, acknowledged leader, chief advocate, and principal educator. Members work in internal auditing, risk management, governance, internal control, information technology audit, education, and security.
The mission of The Institute of Internal Auditors is to provide dynamic leadership for the global profession of internal auditing. Activities in support of this mission will include, but will not be limited to:
Advocating and promoting the value internal audit professionals add to their organizations.
Providing comprehensive professional educational and development opportunities, standards and other professional practice guidance, and certification programs.
Researching, disseminating, and promoting knowledge concerning internal auditing and its appropriate role in control, risk management, and governance to practitioners and stakeholders.
Educating practitioners and other relevant audiences on best practices in internal auditing.
Bringing together internal auditors from all countries to share information and experiences.
How We Came to Be
Historians have traced the roots of internal auditing to centuries B.C., as merchants verified receipts for grain brought to market. The real growth of the profession occurred in the 19th and 20th centuries with the expansion of corporate business. Demand grew for systems of control in companies conducting operations in many locations and employing thousands of people. Many people associate the genesis of modern internal auditing with the establishment of The IIA.
The year 1941 marked a major turning point. Victor Z. Brink, authored the first major book on internal auditing. And at the same time, John B. Thurston, internal auditor for the North American Company in New York, had been contemplating establishing an organization for internal auditors. He and Robert B. Milne had served together on an internal auditing subcommittee formed jointly by the Edison Electric Institute and the American Gas Association, and they agreed that further progress in bringing internal auditing to its proper level of recognition would be best made possible by forming an independent organization for internal auditors. When Brink’s book came to the attention of Thurston, the three men got together and found they had a mutual interest in furthering the role of internal auditing.
As an organizing committee, Brink, Milne, Thurston, contacted a small group of internal audit practitioners throughout the United States who expressed interest in forming a national – even international – organization for internal auditors. The IIA’s certificate of incorporation was filed on November 17, 1941, and just prior to the first annual meeting on December 9, 1941 at the Williams Club located at 24 East 39th Street in New York City, 24 charter members were accepted for membership. Thurston was elected as the first president of The IIA.
Membership grew quickly. It went from the original 24 members to 104 by the end of the first year, to 1,018 at the end of five years. By 1957, membership had expanded to 3,700 and 20 percent were located outside of the United States. More than 70 years later, The IIA is a dynamic global organization with more than 200,000 members worldwide. How did this grow from 24 enthusiastic men in New York City to what it is today? It has required selfless volunteerism, dedicated professionals, and most of all, people with a desire to make internal auditing a proud and distinguished profession.