The Future Auditor Goes Digital

The next generation

In the world of the chief audit executive (CAE), stakeholders are looking for deeper insights and value. It’s a world of rapid change on economic, geopolitical, technological, social and other fronts in which the organization the CAE serves must adapt and grow or risk decline and its ultimate demise. As the risks companies face and the related audit universe change, the focus and skill sets needed by internal audit must evolve, too. But that change is not possible unless internal audit also innovates and transforms itself to keep pace with the velocity of advancements in the business.

For several years, Protiviti has explored the concept of the future auditor. Introduced five years ago, the “future auditor vision” describes a CAE who is taking definitive steps toward making The Institute of Internal Auditors’ vision of “an independent, objective assurance and consulting activity that adds value and improves an organization’s operations” a reality.[1] Since then, we have assessed the relevance of this vision against expectations of internal audit stakeholders.[2]And we have considered various ways to advance the future auditor’s vital relationship with the audit committee on three distinct but interrelated fronts: risk, value and communication.[3]

Today, innovation and change are givens, and digital technology is fueling them both. The question arises as to whether internal audit is adjusting quickly enough to innovate and embrace underlying technologies. That is a question of remaining relevant in an environment of ever-changing business realities and stakeholder expectations. It offers the context for the topic of this issue of The Bulletin — the future auditor goes digital.

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