Internal Auditing Around the World®

Volume 19 — Relevance: One Goal, Multiple Paths

What does it mean for an internal audit function to be relevant? What can internal audit leaders do to increase the relevance of their teams?  

The big picture: Consistency, persistence and a strong belief in the value that a highly relevant internal audit function can deliver for the organisation are key characteristics we observed in the CAEs profiled and serve as a good lesson for others making the journey.

Why it matters:

  • A strong embrace of new and emerging technologies and related skill sets is vital to advancing the relevance journey for many internal audit functions.
  • To deliver relevant, actionable recommendations to the business, internal audit functions need teams of people with diverse backgrounds, perspectives and expertise.
  • One of the best indicators of whether an internal audit function is considered relevant is the business proactively reaching out to the organisation for guidance.

The bottom line: Relevance is a destination and an ongoing journey — with multiple viable paths — for internal audit. 

Featured Companies

The organisations profiled in the 2023 edition of this book represent a cross-section of industries and countries and include Bayer AG, Carlyle, ETN Turistar, Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane, GSK, HEMA BV, Hilton, Majid Al Futtaim Retail, Packaging Corporation of America (PCA), PNC, Tata Consumer Products, Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC), Wesco, Westpac Group, and Zebra Technologies.

While there are certainly commonly recognised practices that can help in the delivery of value and relevance, there is no one-size-fits-all playbook.  Interestingly, most leaders cited similar initiatives, many of which align with their ongoing efforts to build a next-generation internal audit organisation — work that many have had underway for years and that most also acknowledge is a journey of continuous evolution.

The stories in this edition of Internal Auditing Around the World® leave us feeling even more optimistic and energised about the future for the internal audit profession. We hope they inspire you as well.