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

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

This article was first published in September 2017.