The highly popular Internal Auditing Around the World series tracks the growth and evolution of the internal audit profession, which continues to rise to the ever-expanding demands created by the complexities of managing risks, monitoring controls, improving corporate governance and capitalizing on opportunities in international markets. This series should be of great interest to internal audit professionals, as well as CEOs, CFOs and boards of directors worldwide.
A fundamental shift toward collaborative working is under way at many businesses around the globe. Organizations are eliminating barriers – culturally, operationally and technologically – that inhibit their ability to work productively, use resources effectively, seize new market opportunities and fuel innovation.
This trend toward greater collaboration extends to internal audit, traditionally an independent function. While still valued for objective reporting – and at times required to be deliberately detached from strategic decision-making – many internal audit teams now find they are expected to coordinate regularly with a wide range of groups in the organization, particularly amid today’s increasingly rigorous regulatory environment and resulting compliance requirements.
While necessary, becoming more collaborative has not been an easy transition for many internal audit functions. This is not only because they aren’t used to taking center stage, but also because others in the organization – from the board level down – must adapt to interacting with internal auditors more frequently, proactively and strategically. But as the profiles in Volume IX of Protiviti’s Internal Auditing Around the World show, the benefits of enhanced collaboration for the business, as a whole, make working through the challenges worthwhile.
Amid technological advancement, globalization, increased regulation in numerous industries, heightened competition for talent and a global economy that remains uncertain, many companies are revisiting how internal audit fits into their long-term plans. Given the ever-expanding role of internal audit in talent development, Volume VIII of Internal Auditing Around the World focuses on leading global companies that are leveraging their internal audit functions to help train and develop great people for their organizations.
The eight organizations profiled in this book – leaders in industries as diverse as energy, healthcare, financial services and industrial products – face challenges unique to their particular market niches, regional idiosyncrasies and corporate cultures. Yet one prevalent theme stands out in the profiles: Internal auditors are gaining valuable exposure to other areas of the business, with the expectation that this will build a stronger understanding of risk management and effective internal controls throughout the organization.
In the wake of the financial crisis and its lingering consequences, the business environment has changed dramatically from what it was even a relatively short time ago. While enterprise risk management (ERM) has always been on the minds of board members and management, challenging times and well publicized risk management failures have inspired many boards to mandate ERM as a key initiative for their organizations. The 10 companies profiled in Volume 7 are industry leaders and recognize that the internal audit function should play a role in getting ERM to evolve to higher levels of effectiveness throughout the organization. They are taking steps to integrate risk management into their processes for formulating and executing their audit plans. Each profile offers insights on how organizations can establish the oversight, control and discipline to drive continuous improvement of their risk management capabilities.
In today’s increasingly sophisticated organizations, internal audit functions must be technology-enabled to increase the scope and pace of their work, as well as to produce better, more timely and reliable results. The nine companies we profile this year offer ideal examples of the benefits they are deriving from technology-enabled auditing activities. Now – in a way that was not possible until recent years – internal audit has the capability to examine vast amounts of data, identify patterns and potential risks, and make better recommendations to management and the board. This greater accuracy, precision and efficiency, in turn, is freeing up the internal audit function to focus more on strategic, “big picture” activities.
Without question, the risk landscape has changed dramatically since 2005, when Protiviti published the first volume of Internal Auditing Around the World. Four years ago, many organizations were investing more in their internal audit functions as they sought to comply with the internal control requirements of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. Not surprisingly, internal auditors today find themselves in a very different place and facing challenges difficult to imagine just a short time ago.
How are internal audit functions helping their organizations adapt and even succeed in these unprecedented times? This year's guide features 11 successful international companies that are undergoing significant changes, such as restructuring, mergers and acquisitions, and industry transformation. These organizations include Continental Airlines, Microsoft and Unilever, among others. As detailed in the publication, Protiviti learned that these organizations have not only adapted successfully, but that they also have uncovered many untapped opportunities.
The fourth volume of Protiviti's Internal Auditing Around the World
examines the challenges and successes of 19 top-performing internal audit teams, many operating with only a handful of full-time personnel – some staff members working on-site, others based in different business units and distant locations. One of the key takeaways from the internal audit functions profiled in this publication is that today’s internal auditors are actively striving to be highly visible to the entire operation. And while regulatory compliance remains a top concern for many internal audit teams, it is not always taking center stage. Instead, auditors are being called on more often to act as business advisors and strategic consultants, helping their organizations to seize new opportunities in global markets, identify and manage risks, and promote best practices throughout the enterprise.
The internal audit functions featured in this publication represent organizations headquartered in Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, India, Italy, Mexico, the Netherlands, Singapore, the United Kingdom and the United States, as well as a diverse group of industries, which includes aviation, entertainment, financial services, food processing, mining, manufacturing, publishing and technology. Companies profiled in this volume include Alitalia, Cirque du Soleil, Electronic Arts, Harvard University and Reader's Digest, among others.
What drives top-performing internal audit functions today? Internal Auditing Around the World, in its third volume, tells the stories of 16 successful internal audit functions and examines common denominators that separate these leaders from their peers. While there certainly are differences among these profiled companies, they share a number of important similarities in terms of philosophies, approaches, performance measurements and lessons learned - and perhaps most notably, the core concept driving IA activities within these organizations is adding value.
Volume 3 captures innovative voices in a wide range of countries and industries. Organizations from Australia, Brazil, Canada, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States share their insights and experiences in such industries as financial services, nonprofit, healthcare, life sciences, technology, food and beverage, and entertainment. Companies profiled in this volume include ABN AMRO, CA, Foster's Group, Royal Philips and Wells Fargo, among others.
The second volume in the series highlights internal audit strategies, processes and best practices at some of the world's leading companies. They are highly successful organizations competing in a dynamic global landscape. Excellence is the benchmark for each of them; their internal audit functions have been shaped and, in many cases, reinvented by their achievements. Time Warner, ConAgra Foods, Raytheon, DaimlerChrysler and T-Mobile USA are among the 14 multinational businesses profiled in Volume 2.
Each of the 13 profiles in this book describes successes, challenges and lessons learned from the various internal audit teams within these companies as they work to assist management and the audit committee to address financial reporting, regulatory compliance and numerous other process risks while adhering to The Institute of Internal Auditors' International Standards for the Professional Practice of Internal Auditing. Organizations profiled in this volume include BP, General Motors, Harley-Davidson and Starbucks.