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The next-generation Internal Audit Journey needs to begin now

Rapport door Protiviti

Every Journey Begins With the First Step

A global pandemic caused by a rare airborne virus that continues to affect organizations in different ways around the world … a growing number of stakeholders in organizations with whom internal audit needs to partner … digital transformation and innovation initiatives occurring enterprisewide and in individual departments and functions … business models and a risk landscape with seemingly shorter cycle times than in years past.

The case can be made that chief audit executives (CAEs) and their teams have more challenges and demands today than at any time in recent memory, as well as opportunities to engage and support the business in new, innovative ways. These developments underscore the need for internal audit functions to adopt next-generation internal audit practices to be more agile and technology enabled, to have the required skillsets in alignment with these practices, and to achieve a real-time level of engagement with risk management, data and controls. But for most internal audit groups, their next-generation audit journey is just beginning. In fact, the North American results from Protiviti’s 2021 Next-Generation Internal Audit Survey reveal relatively low maturity levels in different areas of governance, methodology and enabling technology.

But what perhaps is most telling is the skill and capability levels of organizations and internal audit functions that we classify as “Digital Leaders.” These organizations are reaping the significant benefits of next-generation internal audit practices given their substantially higher reported levels of maturity in these areas.

The journey toward becoming a next-generation internal audit function is neither easy nor quick, but it is highly worthwhile. We can see that relatively few are “walking the talk” when it comes to advancing into next-generation governance structures, delivery methods and technologies. Moreover, as we detail in the section, “Roadmap – Getting Started and Advancing on Your Next-Gen Audit Journey,” the trek need not involve major initiatives every time, but rather single or small steps to get started.

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