Katie Clinton, UK Head of Internal Audit, discusses internal audit’s challenge to remain relevant in a changing world.
Internal audit has traditionally had its roots firmly within the finance departments of organisations, but a greater prominence of the function means auditors must acquire new strings to their bows.
Internal auditors are facing a challenge to remain relevant as the role of internal audit evolves rapidly. With internal audit having a stronger voice around the boardroom table, Katie Clinton, UK head of internal audit at KPMG, believes internal auditors are moving closer to the role of business partners- providing assurance over a broader range of risk domains.
This means a more strategic and commercially aware approach – looking at how the organisations can mitigate risk as well as identify it.
Fine-tuned communication skills are key in order to provide authority and influence – as well as the ability to understand the complex nature of an organsiation’s stakeholder group.
Internal audit’s scope is no longer within a business. From regulatory and economic developments, to political and technological upheaval: internal audit must consider all external factors that might impact on business.
The role of internal auditors is to think beyond today, and towards the risk landscape of five to 10 years in the future.
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In most organisations, there’s still scope to make internal audit more commercially-minded with a greater strategic focus.