Internal auditors, by nature, like order and certainty. But the global health crisis has allowed for none of that. Its disruption thrust internal auditors into the uncomfortable position of having to completely abandon or revise their well-thought-out plans and familiar checklists and processes — fast.
They had to pivot — often, multiple times — to ensure they did not falter in providing independent assurance that their organization’s risk management, governance and internal control processes were operating effectively. But many internal audit functions needed to be more agile and flexible than ever before for another critical reason: The business needed their help to survive.
For this edition of Internal Auditing Around the World®, we thought it appropriate to focus on the topic of resilience, given everything internal audit teams and their companies have been through lately. More specifically, we asked chief audit executives (CAEs) and their colleagues: “What is internal audit’s role in business resilience?” To summarize their responses: It’s pivotal.
This is not conjecture or hubris; it’s a fact. The stories we present herein illustrate just how critical internal audit functions are in helping their organizations not only maintain resilience, but also increase it and find ways to grow it in the future.
The organizations profiled in the 2021 edition of the study represent a cross-section of countries and industries and include Booking.com, Centene Corporation, DBS Bank Ltd, FIS Global, Global Foundries, Grupo Bepensa, Inchcape, Knowles Corporation, Masonite, Saudi Telecom Company, Standard Chartered, TrueBlue and others.
The profiles of these and other companies featured in this publication showcase the significant role internal audit has in driving business resilience. These stories also help to highlight how businesses define and perceive “resilience” differently, and that resilience can take many forms — including strategic, cyber and operational resilience.