Internal Audit: key findings and themes

2019 State of the Internal Audit Profession Study

Internal Audit is on the cusp of leveraging the benefits of digitalisation. This will transform the way it operates (more efficiently and effectively) and help IA teams achieve recognition for their value-added services. To fully leverage the potential benefits of digital, IA leaders need a systematic approach to integrating digital tools and new ways of working while continuously upskilling their teams:


  • IA has a relatively low level of involvement with digital initiatives compared with other assurance functions: only 28% of respondents reported that IA was ‘always involved with managing risks of digital initiatives’, compared with 37% for risk and 36% for compliance.
  • IA appears unsure of its role in relation to emerging technologies: the newer the technology, the more unsure they appear. For example:
  • Blockchain: 51% are unsure of IA’s role. Only 18% are adding skills and processes to audit this technology, 31% have not taken any steps, and 0% reported that they are fully capable of auditing it.
  • Artificial intelligence: 51% are unsure of IA’s role; 22% are reportedly adding skills and processes to audit this technology, 34% have not taken any steps, and 0% reported that they are fully capable of auditing it.
  • Drones: 68% are unsure of IA’s role; 7% are reportedly adding skills and processes to audit this technology, 26% have not taken any steps, and 0% reported that they are fully capable of auditing it.
  • The situation appears to be more pronounced with European IA functions: 66% of global respondents perceived IA as adding significant value compared with 53% in Europe.
  • IA has a relatively low level of ‘value add’ activities. For example, only 20% are looking beyond standard IA functions and undertaking value-added tasks such as root cause analysis.
  • The good news is that IA appears to be on the cusp of a significant transformation:
  • 54% of global respondents are upskilling their talent in IA.
  • 60% are empowering specific individuals to address IA/digitalisation issues. This finding is reinforced by the interviews, for example with Syngenta: “You don’t need every single team member to be fully digital, but you need part of the team to be fully on board”.

Insights

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Interviews

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Contact us

Richard Thomas

Richard Thomas

Risk Consulting Leader (Trade, Industry, Services), Territory Leader Internal Audit, PwC Switzerland

Tel: +41 79 816 27 00