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Internal audit more crucial than ever in era of uncertainty, say leading experts

10 October 2017

A group of more than 450 internal auditors and speakers gathered for the Chartered Institute of Internal Auditors’ annual conference – Internal Audit 2017 – at Westminster on Tuesday 10 October.

The Institute’s Chief Executive Dr Ian Peters delivered the welcoming address, outlining how internal audit is critical to ensuring organisations understand and manage risk.

“In recent years, some high-profile UK businesses have faced huge public outcry,” Dr Peters said.

“From tax evasion and executive pay, to working conditions and accounting scandals, it is clear that public trust and confidence in businesses needs to be restored, and internal audit is ideally situated to facilitate this.”

Also speaking at the event were Sir Vince Cable, Barclays’ Mike Ashley, Banking Standards Board Chairman Dame Colette Bowe, cyber-security experts Martin Borrett and Simon Dukes, future trend commentator Ray Hammond, and other specialists from the internal audit industry.

“Internal audit is one of a series of mechanisms that companies need in order to have a basic self-discipline,” Sir Vince said.

“We can have tougher regimes and regulation, and that’s what we’ve done since the Financial Crisis, but at the end of the day clever people inside the system are always going to find a way around those regulations.

“If we’re going to avoid future disaster, there has to be self-discipline built inside commercial institutions, and that’s why internal audit is so important.”

Established in 1948, the Chartered Institute of Internal Auditors has more than 9,500 members in all sectors of the economy in the UK and Ireland.

Internal auditors can act as a powerful early warning system, assessing whether organisations are adequately managing all the major risks facing them, from the fluctuating Pound to bribery and fraud, cyber-attack and poor corporate culture.