Internal Audit changing expectations: from a controls-focused approach to a risk-centric mindset

Rapid change is quickly transforming the practice of internal audit raising significant issues for audit leaders and their chief stakeholders. As I highlighted in the article “Internal Audit Changing Expectations,” written for the “Financial Audit” Journal (published in April 2009), there is a clear gap between the current focus of many internal audit functions and where they need to set their sights in order to deliver greater value to their stakeholders.

Since the passage of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (2002), internal audit groups have been concentrating on financial and compliance risks, traditional areas of focus where their confidence levels are typically high. Consequently, to address the rising expectations of their chief stakeholders, internal audit groups tend to sharpen their focus on strategic, operational, and business risks.

Within the article I concluded that, throughout the next years, the value of controls-focused approach is expected to diminish as internal audit tends to adopt a risk-centric mindset. Study results indicate that five identifiable trends – globalization, changes in risk management, advances in technology, talent and organizational issues and changing internal audit roles – will have the greatest impact on internal audit in the coming years.

You may find bellow a PDF copy of the article (Romanian version with English abstract):
“Internal Audit Changing Expectations,” Financial Audit Magazine No.4(52), Chamber of Financial Auditors of Romania, Bucharest, April 2009, 26-34

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