Evolution or irrelevance? Internal Audit at a crossroads

Canadian perspectives from Deloitte's Global Chief Audit Executive Survey

As new methods, markets, technologies, regulations, and risks continue to change the face of business, there has never been a greater need for a strong Internal Audit function. But transforming a traditional Internal Audit group into one that possesses the skills to help a company look toward the future and thrive in today’s increasingly complex environment is easier said than done. While most Chief Audit Executives (CAEs) recognize the need to evolve, they face their fair share of challenges in achieving this goal.

Of the 99 Canadian CAEs who participated in Deloitte’s Global Chief Audit Executive Survey, nearly 63 percent said they lack strong influence and impact within their organizations—something 97 percent believed was very important to the future of the function. To evolve accordingly and stay relevant, CAEs and their Internal Audit functions must increase their influence, address skills gaps, expand their use of analytics and innovate.

This Canadian-centric information sheet seeks to better understand the Canadian environment. We outline Canadian CAEs’ concerns and challenges, and offer a number of suggestions for overcoming them.

Seek ways to increase impact and influence. Enhance the value Internal Audit delivers to its stakeholders.

Embed analytics into Internal Audit activities. From audit scoping and planning to risk assessment and insight generation, analytics holds great potential to transform Internal Audit.

Assess and address talent and skills gaps. Targeted resources may be available through guest auditor and rotation programs, co-sourcing, outsourcing, and other arrangements.

Review strategic planning and risk management. Both areas are forward-looking and can benefit from good doses of objectivity and foresight.

Promote a culture of innovation within the function. Keep abreast of changes affecting organizations and new techniques being used by leading Internal Audit functions.

Marshal senior-level support. Work with key stakeholders—the audit committee chair, chief financial officer, and chief executive officer—to support a program of specific changes that will yield benefits.

CAEs currently have real opportunities to shape the evolution of their functions, organizations, and profession. Capitalizing on those opportunities calls for taking action. Now.

Check out our Canadian Chief Audit Executive Survey results.
View additional global materials.

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