AuditBoard Live Webinar banner advert Diligent One Platform World tour ad April 2024 TeamMate ESG advertising banner 2023

Heads of Internal Audit Virtual Forum

18 November 2020

Please note:

  • All Institute responses are boxed and highlighted blue.
  • Where the chair comments in that capacity, this box is highlighted in yellow.
  • The comments from the President/CEO of IIA Global are highlighted in heather.
  • For confidentiality, the identities of all delegates/attendees are anonymised.

Chair's comments

Disruption is an important topic and one that we need to collaborate on.

I encourage you to build on the momentum we are creating through this forum, to participate in the Institute’s disruption project and make a real difference. A difference not only to the profession in terms of how we work but also to our organisations in terms of their viability and future success.


Chair: Derek Jamieson, Director of Regions, Institute
Institute: John Wood CEO Institute:
Liz Sandwith, Chief Professional Practices Advisor

Key takeaways

• As a profession are we:

  • responding effectively to our own competitive threats?
  • identifying new opportunities?
  • talking to our stakeholders to understand changing expectations?

• We need to be game changers today to be prepared for tomorrow.

• Disruption is no longer a short sharp shock to an organisation such as equipment failure, utility outage, natural disaster or political unrest.

• The nature and scale of disruption has changed such that it threatens viability.

• Disruption risk keeps executives awake at night.

• Does it keep you awake? It should.

• Innovation, transformation and disruption are different but interconnected parts of the debate.

• Most industries face disruption from a collision of interacting forces – climate change, recession, pandemic, Brexit, technology, societal unrest, evolving consumer expectations…

• According to research by Accenture 80% of industries experienced disruption between 2011-2018.

• What assurance have you provided to date?

• What assurance should you have provided?

• Internal audit is impacted by disruption risk in terms of how we:

  • understand disruptive business models, capabilities, and leadership
  • include disruptive threats and opportunities in our assurance activities
  • respond as a profession to change our ways of working or risk obsolescence.

• Actions to think about:

  • What does disruption mean to your organisation?
  • Look ahead 18 months, is your business model at risk of being disrupted?
  • Where does your board gain viability assurance and what is your role in it?
  • How can disruption be a positive influence within your audit function?

• Trusted advisors find ways to discuss disruption risk so that boards can respond

Click here to access the presentation slides and the Accenture report also referred to.

Institute's comments

Reflect on this session and the slides.

This is a subject we need HIA’s to be thinking about and to get ahead of the curve.

The Institute has formed a disruption project and we need volunteers to get involved. There will be opportunities to participate in roundtable discussions, share insights in podcasts and contribute to thought leadership and technical guidance. Please contact to volunteer or find out more.

As a profession we need to ask tough questions. We need to maintain relevance and provide phenomenal value to our organisations or risk seeing internal audit become obsolete over the next decade.

There is a major project at IIA Global to relook at our professional standards, this may lead to change or it may not, but as a profession we are being proactive and taking ownership of the disruption risk.

Take a moment of reflection to read:

IIA Global insights - Internal Audit in the age of disruption

Audit & Risk magazine – July/August 2020 p14 feature on disruption


View from Richard Chambers, President/CEO IIA Global

A quote I have often used is from Danish philosopher, Soren Kierkegaard “all change is preceded by crisis.”

I would like to update this to say all change is preceded by disruption. There is a lot of linkage between crisis and disruption.

Those who resist change are often those who do not succeed, a phrase I like to use is that internal auditors need to move from counting change to driving change. It is not enough to simply embrace change.

You can’t be an agent of change if you’re a secret agent. You have to be willing to get out there and share with others what your capabilities are and what your potential is…and then live up to it.


Chair's closing comments

The world never stops changing, the difference now, is that the current pace is immense and causing considerable challenge for our organisations at a level we have never experienced before.

As internal auditors we can and need to respond to the challenge for the betterment of the profession and our stakeholders in the broadest sense.

2021 is going to be a big year for the profession. We need to address a variety of issues including disruption.

After the two forums in December we will move to monthly forums in 2021 and will propose the initial topics for the agenda for your consideration at our next meeting. 

We are swapping the scheduled forums in December and Climate will therefore be our next session followed by Brexit.

Please contact me if you are interested in sharing your experiences on a particular topic with this forum, there is real benefit in sharing as collaboration helps us all to develop and improve.   

Forums for your information

HIA Forum

Fortnightly – Zoom

Presentations and interactive Q&A

Institute invitation only, contact

Local Authority Forum

Monthly – MS Teams

Presentations and interactive Q&A

Institute invitation only, contact

IA Change Forum

(agile working)

Ad-hoc self-help group sharing practical insights and ways of working


To join these groups contact



Data Analytics Working Group

Next meeting 24 November

Ad-hoc self-help group sharing practical insights and ways of working


Next meeting

2 December – Climate change.

A practical session with heads of internal audit sharing experiences and challenges. We will also include a poll for you to vote on future topics.

Chat box comments from attendee

Thank you to everyone who volunteered to be part of the disruption project via chat during the meeting.