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The role of internal audit

On this page you will find position statements, research and board briefings around the role of internal audit. Aimed at audit committee members, senior managers and those working in internal audit themselves, the materials here explore the ways in which the role of internal audit can best provide value for the organisation.

Read our guidance on delivering internal audit

Detailed guidance for internal auditors, from planning and executing audits, to lean methodologies and computer-assisted techniques.


Governance and Risk survey

This is the fourth annual survey of heads of internal audit. The findings describe the state of the profession of internal audit, its position in organisations and the services it provides.

See the 2016 survey results


The Three Lines of Defence

Position paper outlining internal audit’s role in assuring the effective management of risk and the importance of its position in the corporate governance structure.

Read the position paper


Independence and objectivity

While it works closely with the executive, internal audit must be independent of the activities it is auditing, and its functional accountability must be to the board. This paper sets out the Chartered IIA's position.

Read the position paper


The remuneration of heads of internal audit

Remuneration of heads of internal audit should be considered in the context of their need for independence and objectivity, avoiding potentially harmful influences and incentivising wrong outcomes. The Chartered IIA's position is set out in this paper.

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Internal audit's relationship with external audit

Internal audit is distinct and different from external audit, though they may work closely together and need to be coordinated to get the best or most cost-effective assurance.

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Internal audit and corrupt practices

Internal audit has an important role to play in ensuring that management has effective systems in place to detect and prevent corrupt practices. However, it is not the job of internal audit directly to detect or prevent corrupt practices.

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Risk management and internal audit

As the third line of defence, internal audit is able to give independent and objective assurance to the board on the effectiveness of the risk management activities of the first two lines of defence. Position paper exploring this role.

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Implementing the IIA Financial Services Code - surfing the wave

2015 review of how internal audit functions in financial services institutions have changed since the introduction of the Financial Services Code in 2013.

Read the research report


Building effective internal audit

In this report, we look at how firms in the UK financial services sector are successfully implementing the individual recommendations contained within the IIA's Financial Services Code Effective Internal Audit in the Financial Services Sector. These examples of good practice are also relevant for increasing the effectiveness of internal audit in other sectors.

Read the research report


Embedding effective internal audit in the financial services sector

A survey of heads of internal audit to find out what progress they had made on implementing the IIA's financial services code from 2014.

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The value of internal audit to the board