The case can be made that chief audit executives (CAEs) and their teams have more challenges and demands today than at any time in recent memory, as well as opportunities to engage and support the business in new, innovative ways. These developments underscore the need for internal audit functions to adopt next-generation internal audit practices to be more agile and technology-enabled, to have the required skillsets in alignment with these practices, and to achieve a real-time level of engagement with risk management, data and controls. But for most internal audit groups, their next-generation audit journey is just beginning. In fact, the results from Protiviti’s 2021 Next-Generation Internal Audit Survey reveal relatively low maturity levels in different areas of governance, methodology and enabling technology.
But what perhaps is most telling is the skill and capability levels of organizations and internal audit functions that we classify as “Digital Leaders.” These organizations are reaping the significant benefits of next-generation internal audit practices given their substantially higher reported levels of maturity in these areas.