CIIA report: Risk in Focus – Hot Topics for Internal Audit 2018

Last week saw a milestone in our collaboration with the other major European Institutes of Internal Audit, with the publication of our new report, "Risk in Focus – Hot Topics for Internal Audit 2018". 

This was the outcome of an innovative joint project led by the Chartered IIA. It involved in-depth, qualitative interviews with leading heads of internal audit of major organisations, across a diverse range of critically important sectors, in six countries – the UK, France, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands and Switzerland. These sought to identify the key themes they are prioritising in their audit plans for next year; and for each of these, to pick out some of the specific questions that internal auditors need to consider. 

The report discusses nine strategic challenges: 

  • The General Data Protection Regulation and the broader data protection challenge.
  • Cybersecurity.
  • Regulatory complexity and uncertainty.
  • The pace of innovation. 
  • Political uncertainty – Brexit and other unknowns.
  • Vendor risk and third party assurance.
  • The culture conundrum.
  • Planning for the workforce of the future. 
  • Evolving the internal audit function itself. 

The overarching theme, however, is the fundamental impact of technology in shaping, enabling and disrupting organisations’ operations and strategies – a pressure that requires internal auditors to learn new skills and adopt new tools to strengthen their capabilities in a fast-changing and increasingly digital world. 

You can read or download the report at iia.org.uk/riskinfocus

For some internal audit teams, many of the themes in our report will already be reflected in next year’s audit plan. For others, the report may be a timely reminder of issues that require serious reflection. And for all, we hope that the report will provide a fresh, different and relevant talking point – for internal audit professionals, for audit committees and other senior stakeholders.

Using this report as a baseline, we intend to repeat the project next year and beyond. So we are particularly keen to hear your feedback. Let us know what you think at IIAPolicy@iia.org.uk.

This article was first published in September 2017.