Internal audit teams must provide ever more value and insight, but many are doing so with limited technology and the most basic frameworks.
As senior managers and board members demand additional focus in areas such as risk culture and regulatory compliance, the workloads of internal audit teams are increasing — often with fewer resources.
And while significant progress has been made in the adoption of best practice, it is clear from our global survey on the maturity of internal audit departments that there are still major framework holes within many teams.
The comprehensive self-assessment quiz involved more than 300 internal auditors and showed that between one-quarter and one-third of these teams struggled to evolve within their organization.
Perhaps the most alarming finding involves the adoption of technology, with 62% of respondents reporting that its use in order to manage the audit process was basic, limited or insufficient.
Another surprising disclosure is that nearly one-quarter of internal audit teams have limited, informal or undocumented internal audit policies and procedures.
On competency building, some two-fifths of internal audit teams revealed they have only informal coaching, performance evaluations and expectations for all resources.
A further 8% said they have insufficient coaching and evaluation feedback for all resources, while 10% have just an informal internal audit evaluation process.
That’s a total of 57% of respondents whose organizations have a sub-optimal approach to these key human resources functions.
Communication of internal audit activities and value proved another area where teams could improve their approach.
One-quarter of respondents said they only have informal strategies in place to actively communicate the role of their internal audit department within their organization.
With a further 9% saying they had minimal or no communication strategies in place, a total of more than one-third of internal audit teams have an inadequate approach to communication.
And just over one-quarter do not have an internal audit charter that defines both assurance and advisory activities, and is also approved by their chief audit executive and audit committee.
It’s clear from the results of this benchmarking quiz that between one-quarter and one-third of internal audit teams genuinely struggle to evolve within their organization.
In a world where internal audit teams are being asked by senior management and the board to provide more value and insight, the best practice gaps demonstrated in this survey are troubling.
However, Thomson Reuters can help address these concerns with software that frees internal audit teams from manual tasks — so they can focus more on the aspects of their roles that add value to the business.
Thomson Reuters AutoAudit is used by hundreds of organizations around the globe, helping internal audit teams implement best practices, automate standard audit processes, and provide the analysis that stakeholders value most.