The bar keeps rising for Internal Audit. In an environment of rapid business change, increasing demands from the board and executives, and ever-higher regulatory requirements more and more is expected of Internal Audit. Internal Audit is now a key part of any major organisation’s risk and assurance framework and its effectiveness is a key contributor to business success. Our reviews of internal audit effectiveness go beyond a compliance check against internal audit standards, and will help give you assurance that internal audit is fit for purpose and contributes to business performance.
Our reviews look at the robustness of internal audit work: for example, the audit approach, risk assessments, audit planning, execution and reporting. We also look at whether internal audit standards are met. However, to be effective, Internal Audit needs to do more than perform good quality work. It needs to make an impact. So we also speak to key stakeholders to gauge whether Internal Audit makes an impact on the organisation.
We also look at Internal Audit in context. We recognise that Internal Audit doesn’t operate in a vacuum. Rather, its effectiveness and, consequently, its ability to make a difference, is heavily reliant on other elements of the organisation’s governance arrangements. The roles, responsibilities, positioning and maturity of the ‘second line’ and other assurance activities will have an important bearing on how Internal Audit operates. So, as part of our review we will understand how Internal Audit fits in with your organisation’s overall governance framework and it will be against this context that our assessment of Internal Audit will be made.
Our reviews take a board-level perspective, recognising that Internal Audit needs to meet the needs of its main stakeholder, the Audit Committee. This approach is possible because of the senior-level experience of our review team, who bring their many years’ experience of working with boards, risk, compliance, operations and the business – and, of course, internal audit functions. As a result, we also provide a very different ‘client experience’ than other reviewers (which clients who have worked with our team will happily confirm).
Our objective will always be to provide you with an objective view of the effectiveness of Internal Audit. We will say what we think openly and honestly (but always diplomatically and tactfully). Drawing out strengths and areas for improvement to ensure our reports are entirely balanced.