How do you transform the internal audit function to serve the ever-changing landscape? That was the core question Protiviti aspired to answer through interviews with internal audit leaders for this edition of Internal Auditing Around the World®.
When we chose that question in early 2020, we were thinking primarily about digital change in business. What we did not know then was that, within a matter of months, a force from the natural world — a new and deadly coronavirus, COVID-19 — would be the real change upending not only businesses but also entire economies, along with billions of people’s lives.
We conducted most interviews during the last two weeks of March 2020. Despite the unprecedented disruption and uncertainty, the internal audit leaders were calm, clear-minded and resolute. They embodied the spirit of braving extraordinary times with fortitude and confidence — no doubt because they had been working long before the pandemic to condition their teams to be more resilient when challenged by any major change. These leaders are positive change agents and problem-solvers who aren’t likely to be left behind because they are constantly rethinking how their functions plan, execute and deliver results to increase the value contributed to the companies they serve.
The organizations profiled in the 2020 edition of the study represent a cross-section of countries and industries and include Campari Group, Lloyds Banking Group, Microsoft Corporation, Milaha, Olympus Corporation, Rabobank, Salesforce, SF Express, Starbucks Coffee Company and others.
The internal audit organizations we showcase in our latest edition of Internal Auditing Around the World® are at various stages of transformation, and their focus on how and where to drive change in the function is shaped, at least in part, by the needs and goals of the business at large. But one thing all these organizations have in common is a CAE who is committed to driving change, and who also understands that every destination reached along the change journey is not an endpoint. Instead, each accomplishment marks the starting point for something new.