Accounting News

Monday, April 23, 2012
Pulse of the Internal Auditor

The Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) surveyed 461 auditors to take a pulse of the industry. The respondents came from a variety of organizations in North America.One sixth of the responses came from fortune 500 companies with the majority coming form smaller businesses.

The survey found a discrepancy  between what management saw as risks and what was being audited. The chief concerns for management are:

  1. Operation risk
  2. Compliance risk
  3. Financial risk
  4. Strategic risk
  5. Human capital risk
The problem is audit plans did not always place the same emphasis on these risks. This could lead to a divergence in expectations and reporting. Management should take more interest in the audit plan to give all stakeholders the information they need.

The top priorities for 2012 of the internal auditor are:
  1. Financial risk
  2. Operational risk
  3. Compliance risk
  4. Fraud risk
  5. Strategic risk
While many of the items are the same they are not in the same priority level. The goal of the senior auditor should be to work to align the priorities. The challenge is that not all stakeholders have the same priorities. In some cases they are even working against each other.

Over the next few days we will continue to investigate what challenges and opportunities face the internal audit staff.