What does the future hold for the internal audit profession? Protiviti explores this question at some level in every annual edition of Internal Auditing Around the World®.
Protiviti’s release of Volume 18 of Internal Auditing Around the World gives us occasion to reflect on just how much has changed in the internal audit profession since our inaugural edition in 2005. The core mission for internal audit remains the same: to provide independent, objective assurance and consulting activity designed to protect and enhance value for the enterprise. But today, we also see many functions exploring how to define new boundaries for their role while adhering to known limits (and testing those limits, in some cases).
That’s certainly the case for the high-performing internal audit organizations we profiled in this year’s book: “The Future of Work Is Here and Opportunities Are Around Every Corner.” Our book includes the perspectives of internal audit leaders from future-forward organizations operating in various industries and countries across the globe.
Among the many things we learned from our extended interviews with these internal audit leaders is that the COVID-19 pandemic has helped to raise the profile of the internal audit function at many companies. It appears that many internal audit organizations are finally realizing their aim to be viewed as a strategic partner to the business. More than that, throughout the pandemic, leading functions have been at the forefront of driving positive change that’s helping the broader business position for post-pandemic success, whether it’s through agile practices, advanced data analytics, flexible work methods, better, more proactive communication, or even partnering with and supporting the business in nontraditional areas.
The next challenge — and opportunity — for internal audit leaders and their teams is to seize on this positive momentum, so they can continue to help shape the workforce and organization of the future, within the business at large and the internal audit function itself. But their success hinges on their ability to navigate a “people problem” — both now and in the years ahead.
I explain in the Foreword for this year’s Internal Auditing Around the World that even the most future-forward internal audit organizations are struggling to attract and retain top talent, especially technical talent. Most leading internal audit functions have a tremendous base of knowledge, skills and insight that can benefit the business in potentially game-changing ways. But that’s only if they have the flexibility to explore where and how they can add even more value to the organization while still adhering to its mandate for and within the organization.
To learn how some of today’s leading internal audit functions are pushing the boundaries, maximizing the abilities of their current teams, and making internal audit a place that attracts, develops and retains highly skilled and technically savvy professionals, get your complimentary copy of this year’s edition of Internal Auditing Around the World here. (You can also access previous editions of our annual publication on that same page.)