Internal audit on the agenda globally

I am just back from speaking at the annual meeting of the Global Network of Director Institutes (GNDI) in St Petersburg.

The GNDI is the international umbrella body representing organisations such as the UK’s Institute of Directors (IoD). Its remit is to share expertise in directorship and corporate governance among the 100,000 directors and governance professionals it represents.

In St Petersburg, institutes of directors from across the globe were represented – including Europe, the US, Australia, South Africa, Hong Kong, Argentina, Brazil, New Zealand, Thailand and Malaysia.

This was an opportunity to speak with a body that represents some of internal audit’s most important customers, to explain how internal audit is climbing higher up the agenda and adding greater value to directors and their organisations.

Internal audit fits too with the corporate governance that both the UK and US governments are looking for – seeking stronger, more responsible controls on our businesses, without increasing the regulatory burden.

Indeed, it was the Central Bank of Russia, the main regulator of the Russian banking industry and hosts of the GNDI event, that led a seminar on trends in Russian corporate governance the morning before my presentation – and internal audit featured prominently. It appears that the corporate governance agenda is converging globally.

I also described the role of internal audit in culture and in cyber security, as two current high-priority areas for business, as well as the role of internal audit in preventing another banking crisis – and how our Financial Services Code is helping to achieve this in the UK.

This was all very well received. It appears that the message was one that they were ready for.

This article was first published in July 2017.