Is Your Internal Audit Department Effective?

Forensic & Litigation Consulting

August 10, 2016

Effective Internal Audit (“IA”) Departments play a critical role in evaluating the effectiveness of risk management, internal controls, and business processes. But who is evaluating the Internal Audit Department to ensure their effectiveness? The Institute of Internal Auditors require IA to undergo an External Quality Assessment Process (“EQA Process”) every five years. But during the five years between each EQA Process, how do you know your IA Department’s plans and procedures are effective, including whether they are equipped to address emerging issues, such as Social Media? Our analysis and assessment of IA goes deeper than the EQA Process. We gather information from the field, gaining insights from company personnel regarding the effectiveness of IA, by amongst other steps, collecting data on the percentage of audit action points that management has agreed to address. We assess whether the percentage favors easy-to-implement actions while avoiding the harder issues.

Our work also includes interviews of all parties involved to assess whether management tone is one of cooperation or reluctance to change, or whether IA is forcing agreement to unrealistic recommendations. The scope of our work is unique to each client but tends to focus more on future effectiveness of IA versus the past. We provide boards and management with feedback on many forward looking IA issues such as hiring and retention of professionally qualified and experienced IA professionals, training, succession planning, and reward systems. We provide an independent view of your IA department providing you insight into whether your IA department can provide assurance to management, the audit committee, and the board on systems of internal control and risk management, as well as assist management in improving operations.

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