The coronavirus pandemic has had a profound impact on the way many people work and live and has forced businesses to take unprecedented measures to stay afloat. In this disrupted environment, the Chartered IIA wanted to understand how the pandemic had impacted the internal audit profession during lockdown. This led to the creation of our Internal Audit in Lockdown report.
The starting point for the report was a survey sent out to Chief Audit Executives in the UK and Ireland in late May/early June. Of those contacted, over two hundred Chief Audit Executives took part in the survey. We also conducted 26 follow-up interviews with Chief Audit Executives from a range of sectors to gain more detailed insights on the survey results.
We found that a sizeable amount of internal audit teams were not doing any internal audit work at the time when we carried out the survey as many (45%) were redeployed to support other areas of the business and others were furloughed (15%). While we recognised these decisions were driven by urgent business needs, this was somewhat concerning at a time when we were seeing a whole range of business-critical risks being exacerbated as a result of the crisis.
We were pleased to see that a majority of respondents (63%) indicated they were not experiencing challenges meeting specific regulatory requirements. However, internal audit teams should remain vigilant as the regulatory context could change the in the months ahead as regulators once again begin to tighten their approach.