To find out how organisations and internal audit have fared during the pandemic, we partnered with Protiviti to host a series of roundtables with chief audit executives (CAEs). The findings of which are outlined below.
The key aims of these roundtable discussions have been to gain insights from CAEs on how they and their teams have responded to the following challenges:
Research by ourselves and Protiviti shows that executives are acutely aware of the disruption threats e.g. start-up, cybersecurity attacks, climate change, etc.. Yet disruption threats continue to take many companies by surprise in terms of their impact. As such, disruption threats keep the issue of survival at the top of a board’s risk agenda.
It follows that internal audit plays a key role in identifying potential disruption and the opportunities it may present.
A total of seven roundtables were conducted and, during them, we explored how the internal audit profession and organisations continue to be disrupted.
We invited those attending to explore with us how the profession can reimagine its approaches and to consider the measures being taken to respond to future business disruption risks. We also looked at how to harness the opportunities that disruption presents.
The roundtables started with a polling question that asked attendees to rate the following sources on organisational disruption in priority order. And to base those ratings on the challenges that they’re facing as organisations.
The collective results from all seven roundtables are as follows:
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Our findings indicate that several businesses and CAEs had already started preparing for the pandemic and its disruptive wave before it even arrived. But even innovation leaders must recalibrate for a post-COVID-19 environment.
As we continue to move ahead, amid significant uncertainty, internal audit activities will likely remain consumed by near-term COVID-19-related priorities.
However, now is a great opportunity to explore potential efficiency initiatives and a plan to reimagine internal audit activities for a more uncertain and complex commercial landscape.