Seeking value through Internal Audit | KPMG | BE

Seeking value through Internal Audit

Seeking value through Internal Audit

An effective Internal Audit function can not only magnify what the company already knows, but present new findings, offer new perspectives and provide new ways of gleaning such insights.

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The future of Internal Audit through the lens of stakeholder needs: KPMG and Forbes recently surveyed more than 400 Chief Financial Officers and Audit Committee chairs on a host of issues regarding the performance, focus, value, and future of Internal Audit functions at their organizations. The findings call attention to a ‘value gap’ between what Audit Committee Chairs and CFOs identify as priorities and what they are receiving from their IA functions.

What makes an Internal Audit function worth a company’s while? It’s that matter of value. An effective Internal Audit (IA) function can not only magnify what the company already knows, but present new findings, offer new perspectives, and provide new ways of gleaning such insights.


KPMG and Forbes recently surveyed more than 400 Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) and Audit Committee Chairs on a host of issues regarding the performance, focus, value, and future of IA functions at their organizations. The findings call attention to a ‘value gap’ between what Audit Committee Chairs and CFOs identify as priorities and what they are receiving from their IA functions.

Some of the key findings include:

  • Only 5 percent of respondents believe they are receiving informed perspectives from their internal audit (IA) function on emerging risks – however, over one third of respondents indicate informed perspectives on emerging risks are the most valuable insights they would like to receive from their internal audit function.
  • 22 percent of respondents believe their internal audit functions are assisting in the assessment of risks and risk management practices – however, over half believe this area is the most valuable insights they would like to receive from internal audit.
    The value gap is smaller when it comes to a focus on sustainable profit generation – however, a gap still exists as 33 percent of respondents believe their IA function is focused on sustainable profit generation but 41 percent believe sustainable profit generation is the most valuable insights they would like to receive.
  • It is also quite clear that while companies want measurable impact from their Internal Audit functions — particularly around risk and potential revenue enhancement — this is not their primary concern. The most important factor is effectiveness and efficiency. This means that, while there is a call for measurable impact through a greater focus on risk, it should not come at the cost of reducing audit effectiveness and efficiency.

  • In general, ground-level risk assessment as a function of IA is agreed to be, at best, adequate. The job gets done. But, when it comes to more comprehensive detection and response to emerging risks, only one in ten respondents believe that this is addressed satisfactorily. Again, this leaves an opportunity for additional value. Internal Audit needs to be more proactive in identifying and mitigating risk, not just assessing the controls already in place.



The survey responses do not only identify a ‘value gap,’ they point to specific actions that would elevate the value of the IA function and create a new standard of delivery by providing actionable insights into the risks that matter and increase the focus on emerging risks.

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