Internal Audit: Golden oldies or latest tunes?

How do you balance the past and future?

Rock stars and internal auditors have more in common than you might think. That’s just one of the insights gleaned from Deloitte’s third annual Global Chief Audit Executive (CAE) Forum. Another insight? The internal audit (IA) function can be both a stabilizing influence and a catalyst for change.

The internal auditor’s conundrum

Consider the case of a musician with a new album. Out on tour, the performer wants to fill the set list with the latest cuts. But the fans turn out for the old hits. How can the artist send the crowd home happy, while simultaneously remaining true to the muse?

Internal audit functions face a similar dilemma: Their old “hits”—retrospective and assurance-based audits with a focus on compliance—provide reassuring familiarity to their audience of CFOs and audit committee members. But the new “music”—delivering valued advice and predictive, analytical, technology-enabled insights—gets the auditors’ blood pumping.

Attaining an equilibrium between tried-and-true and cutting-edge, between a focus on the past and on the future, is critical to keeping both music fans and business executives happy and artists and auditors fulfilled.

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