Challenges of Auditing Corporate Risk Culture

Press Release

Senior internal audit executives share experiences and insights from their risk culture audit journeys

MENLO PARK, CA - July 24, 2017 - In the 13th edition of “Internal Auditing Around the World®,” global consulting firm Protiviti offers perspectives on the burgeoning area of auditing companies’ risk culture. Today senior management and boards are looking to internal audit leaders to help the business develop the right approach for, and get the most value from, these types of audits. The internal audit function has a clear opportunity to play a transformative role in responding to the needs of key stakeholders, particularly board members, who want assurance that the organization is aware of and addressing all types of potential risk.

The 15 organizations profiled in the latest installment of the book, subtitled “Navigating the Complexities of Corporate Culture,” represent a cross section of countries and industries and include Abu-Dhabi National Oil Company; Carter’s, Inc.; Deutsche Bank AG; Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited and T-Mobile, among others.

“Culture is complex and different within every organization and remains largely abstract,” said Brian Christensen, executive vice president, global internal audit and financial advisory, Protiviti. “However, even though a company’s culture may be abstract, one thing is clear from an internal audit perspective: developing the right approach for auditing an organization’s risk culture takes time and careful planning.”

Through its research, Protiviti learned internal audit leaders are taking great pains to formalize the auditing of company risk culture by creating and applying well-structured methodologies, frameworks and processes. Across the board, executives agree that evaluating – or even resetting – processes for their audit teams can improve risk culture across the overall business enterprise. Popular approaches include incorporating the organization’s guiding principles or core values into their methodology.

“Internal audit professionals consistently ask us how they can possibly apply objectivity – a crucial element to being successful at their job – to company culture, which is inherently subjective,” said Christensen. “As the objective eye of the organization, the internal audit function is uniquely qualified to bring a systemic, disciplined approach to a potentially subjective process.”

The 2017 edition of Protiviti’s “Internal Auditing Around the World®” includes the following profiles, among others:

  • Eagle Warrior: Aeromexico’s “Atmosphere Project” Connects Company and Culture (Mario Torres Rangel, audit senior vice president, Aeromexico)
  • Building a Sustainable Risk Culture at Bpifrance SA (Michel Cadelano, inspecteur general, Bpifrance SA)

  • CDK Global Seizes Opportunity to Build New Culture from Scratch (Katie Shellabarger, vice president and chief audit executive, CDK Global)

  • Expedia Revolutionizes Global Travel with a Clear Eye on Cultural Accountability (Jeff Davis, vice president of corporate audit services, Expedia)

  • A ‘Regulatory Backdrop’ for OCC’s Risk Culture Internal Audit (Adi Agrawal, senior vice president and chief business transformation officer, former chief audit executive, OCC)

  • Fix Yourself First: Tennessee Valley Authority OIG Leads by Example (Richard W. Moore, inspector general, Tennessee Valley Authority OIG)

The new book also includes profiles of Aegon N.V., Insurance Australia Group Limited, and Westpac Banking Group. To download a free copy and view past editions, please click here.

About Protiviti Inc.

Protiviti ( is a global consulting firm that delivers deep expertise, objective insights, a tailored approach, and unparalleled collaboration to help leaders confidently face the future. Protiviti and its independent and locally owned Member Firms provide clients with consulting and managed solutions in finance, technology, operations, data, analytics, governance, risk and internal audit through its network of more than 85 offices in over 25 countries.

Named to the 2021 Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For® list, Protiviti has served more than 60 percent of Fortune 1000® and 35 percent of Fortune Global 500® companies. The firm also works with smaller, growing companies, including those looking to go public, as well as with government agencies. Protiviti is a wholly owned subsidiary of Robert Half (NYSE: RHI). Founded in 1948, Robert Half is a member of the S&P 500 index.

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Kathy Keller
Kathy Keller