Internal auditors at executive management level rise 163% thanks to Financial Services Code – new survey

The Chartered Institute of Internal Auditor’s Financial Services Code has led to substantially more internal auditors working in roles equivalent to executive management and more resources being spent on internal audit according to a new business survey.

The survey of Chief Internal Auditors from businesses in financial services found:

  • Half of all Chief Internal Auditors are now employed at executive management level in their businesses (at a rank equivalent to CFO). The number rose by 163%, from 19% in 2013 to 37% in 2015 to 50% in 2020.
  • More resources are being spent on internal audit teams. Since 2015 there has been a 30% rise in the number of internal audit teams reporting their staff numbers had increased, from 40% to 52%. There was also an 11% increase in the number of internal audit teams reporting their budgets had risen, from 47% to 52%.
  • More Audit Committee Chairs are responsible for recruitment, management and budget of internal audit teams. The number responsible for line management of Chief Internal Auditors rose by 13%, from 72% to 81%. The number responsible for the salary of Chief Internal Auditors rose by 20%, from 61% to 73%.

The Financial Services Code was launched by the Chartered Institute of Internal Auditors in 2013 with the objective of raising the scope and status of internal audit in the financial sector. Our new research strongly suggests that objective has been achieved.

Building on this success, in January 2020 the Chartered Institute of Internal Auditors launched the Internal Audit Code of Practice. It is aimed at helping businesses in non-financial services better manage risks after high-profile collapses linked to governance deficiencies, including Carillion. The new Code was welcomed by Sir Donald Brydon CBE, FRC, ICAEW, CIMA, ACCA and ICAS. Our ambition is that the new Code will achieve similar results to the Financial Services Code and make a significant contribution to good corporate governance in the UK.

John Wood, Interim Chief Executive of the Chartered Institute of Internal Auditors, said:

“This survey shows our Financial Services Code is making a real difference to the status and influence of internal audit since its launch six years ago. There has been a 163% increase in the number of Chief Internal Auditors working in roles equivalent to executive management since the Financial Services Code was launched. And staff numbers have risen in over half (52%) of internal audit teams in financial services.

”We now want our new Internal Audit Code of Practice to achieve the same success as the Financial Services Code to help more businesses better manage the risks they face."


Notes for editors 

  1. The survey of Chief Internal Auditors from businesses in financial services was conducted between 3 December 2019 and 7 January 2020.
  1. The Chartered Institute of Internal Auditors is the only professional body dedicated exclusively to training, supporting and representing internal auditors in the UK and Ireland. We have 10,000 members in all sectors of the economy. First established in 1948, we obtained our Royal Charter in 2010. Over 2,000 members are Chartered Internal Auditors and have earned the designation CMIIA. About 1,000 of our members hold the position of head of internal audit and the majority of FTSE 100 companies are represented among our membership. Members are part of a global network.