The changing face of the internal auditor.

Author:Richards, David A.
Position:The Shape of Things to Come - Brief Article

IN JUNE 1999, THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS of the Institute of Internal Auditors approved a new definition of internal auditing and set in motion a series of events to change the way we look at internal auditors. This definition has changed internal auditing from a reactive, compliance-focused, and after-the-fact review, to a process that is proactive and future-focused, and which provides a wide variety of services that capitalize on practitioner knowledge, skills and experience.

The change expands the scope of internal auditing from primarily assurance to include consulting services. Assurance services are designed to provide objective examinations leading to an overall opinion statement as to acceptability of a process. Typical services include: financial accuracy, contract compliance, regulatory/legal compliance, policies/procedures compliance, or operational meeting of performance standards (e.g., ISO). In the future, the internal auditors will aggregate individual assessments into an overall opinion of the organization's compliance with various financial, legal, and operational requirements. These services will help meet management and the audit committee requirements by regulators and stakeholders to be more accountable for the basic activities of the business through proactive statements in external documents.

Consulting services provide a new range of utilization for the skills in the internal audit department, including advice (opinions on...

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