Internal audit has evolved and will continue this path post-pandemic. The old ways of providing governance assurance have long gone. A cultural shift has happened with focus on remote auditing and providing the integrated assurance. The shift in mindset must continue for the Internal Audit function to remain relevant and a key business partner. The Board and Audit Committee plus Management must appreciate that Internal Audit’s rapidly changing landscape is necessary to support the level of corresponding changes in business priorities.
Given the challenges facing internal audit teams and their organisations, boards should be alert to constraints on internal audit budgets, audit plan priorities, and staffing. There is an array of risks that remain top of mind for chief audit executives (CAEs). At the same time, most boards of directors have raised or expect to raise their risk appetite. That is not surprising, given the uncertainty of the last two years and the ongoing unexpected developments affecting domestic and global economies. It is the board’s responsibility to make the best use of the internal audit function and the independent assurance and insights it provides. An internal audit is a powerful tool for the board and can help directors protect their organisations from current and emerging risks. The Internal Audit team will need to continue providing the integrated assurance together with Risk and Compliance. Agile Internal Audit needs to be the focus of all the stakeholders plus the Internal Audit team.