Brexit preparedness

Organisations’ preparedness for Brexit: an internal audit perspective

With the UK committed to leaving the European Union in March 2019, organisations need to ensure they understand how their business will be impacted and put plans in place to manage or mitigate this where necessary.

The Chartered Institute of Internal Auditors has attempted to provide an overview of organisations’ preparedness for Brexit, the practicalities of undertaking scenario planning , the key risks associated with Brexit, sharing lessons learnt, and the role of internal audit in assisting the organisation to prepare for this potentially disruptive event.

The report itself is based on a survey of Chief Audit Executives across the UK to understand their responses and preparedness for Brexit, along with six in-depth case studies to share best practice. In total almost 100 Chief Audit Executives participated in the research.

Download the full report here

Key findings from the survey

  1. A vast majority (82%) of the organisations surveyed are affected by the risks associated with Brexit.

  2. The top three risk areas affected by Brexit are: regulatory change (69%), recruitment of skilled and unskilled labour (61%), and supply chain management (57%).

  3. More than half (53%) of organisations have undertaken scenario planning, which has included assessing the issues that will impact their organisation the most. These included regulatory change (56%), access to skilled and unskilled labour (52%), and volatility on the currency markets (46%).

  4. The main difficulties cited by organisations undertaking scenario planning are lack of clarity from government on its preferred Brexit deal (79%), the number of potential scenarios (68%), and the lack of information available (55%).

  5. Three quarters (75%) of the surveyed organisations have established an internal Brexit steering or working group to coordinate the potential impact of Brexit and the response the organisation is taking; in almost half (47%) of the steering groups, internal audit has a seat at the table.

  6. Almost half (40%) of the surveyed organisations say they have not received an appropriate level of engagement and information from government in preparing for Brexit.

Case studies 

Johnson Matthey


Standard Chartered

Large UK financial services institution 1

Large UK financial services institution 2

Large UK retailer

Content reviewed: 20 January 2020