Think beyond your annual audit plan
What’s the fix?
There are four steps CAEs can take to build a long-term internal audit strategy that will keep the function relevant to the organization’s strategic planning.
Questions CAEs should consider:
1. Define or redefine internal audit’s strategic vision
- What does internal audit want to accomplish in the next three to five years (or other time horizon that corresponds with the business)?
- What are internal audit’s roles and responsibilities? What are the specific needs of its key stakeholders?
- What is the function’s mandate?
- Looking forward, what strategic business priorities can internal audit focus on to be more relevant?
- Where are the enablement and competency gaps?
2. Identify and prioritize key internal initiatives
- Is the internal audit strategy aligned to the business risks, organizational priorities, and key financial and operational initiatives?
- Are processes, methodologies and tools up to date?
- Is the function prioritizing effectively?
- Does internal audit have the industry and functional insight it needs?
- Are internal audit’s staffing models flexible enough?
- Does internal audit have the right skills to anticipate change and attack emerging issues?
3. Design the appropriate internal audit KPIs
- How is internal audit measuring its success?
- How do key stakeholders define success for internal audit?
- Does internal audit track productivity and value-driven measures?
4. Develop the internal audit operating strategy
- What are the detailed activities the function needs to undertake to get from where it is now to where it needs to be?
- What are the key milestones?
- How is the function communicating its progress to all stakeholders involved?
- What steps are in place to enable the function to adapt to changing priorities and remain relevant to the business?
- How can internal audit get out in front of emerging issues and risks?
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