Professional (HIA)

Overview

As a Professional (HIA), it's pivotal that you understand how to develop yourself and your team as well as build powerful partnerships with the board and audit committee, thereby becoming their ‘trusted adviser’. As the leader of internal audit activity, you have overall responsibility for delivering the internal audit function's efficiency and effectiveness. You are also a key starting point for determining the quality of execution, which includes risk-based internal audit plans, and strategic plans aligned to an organisations goals and objectives. Leading by example, you'll work closely with colleagues across the organisation in areas including risk, fraud, security and GDPR.

Contents

Typical responsibilities

Knowledge

Skills

Behaviours

Auditing business functions

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Typical responsibilities 

HIAs must lead from the front and manage their teams with knowledge and expertise. Your key responsibilities are as follows:

  • Planning, supervising and quality-checking engagements
  • Communicating results to senior stakeholders, discussing and agreeing remedial actions, and monitoring engagement outcomes
  • Critically evaluating the inherent risk and control implications of different business processes
  • Developing and delivering a risk-based audit programme to help an organisation succeed
  • Developing stakeholder relationships and acting as an independent assurer
  • Lead and manage projects and investigations as required by senior stakeholders

Knowledge

1. Commercial awareness

IA Professionals understand how to critically evaluate/interpret the internal and wider external environment of the organisation being audited.

Relevant guidance

IPPF elements

United Nations human rights reporting

Whistleblowing

Integrated reporting

Sustainability: A1000 Series

Research report: The role of internal audit in non-financial and integrated reporting


2. Corporate governance and risk management

IA Professionals understand characteristics of good corporate governance and risk management, including the strategic role of IA.

Relevant guidance

Auditing corporate governance

Legal and regulatory

Update to the UK’s Corporate Governance Code

What is good Corporate Governance

What every director should know 2015 – research report

How internal audit works with the audit committee

Governance of risk: Three lines of defence

Model audit committee charter

When should an organisation establish an internal audit activity?

Views from the board

Board briefings


3. Organisational strategy, structures and business processes

In respect of an organisation’s approach to audit planning and reporting, IA Professionals understand risk and control implications of different organisational structures, business processes and IT systems.

Relevant guidance

Insight and internal audit

Lean auditing

Meeting stakeholder expectations – top tips


4. Risk and control/audit methodology

IA Professionals know the types of controls to manage the risks, management control techniques, and internal control framework characteristics.

Relevant guidance

Position paper: The three lines of defence

Organisational culture

Auditing culture

Models and tools

Practical examples

Research report: Culture

Top tips – making culture part of your audit DNA

RBIA: ten years on

Root cause analysis

Managing reputation risk


5. Management/leadership principles

IA Professional understand management skills/leadership styles, conflict management, project management & change management.

Relevant guidance

Talent management 

Performance management

 Assisting small internal audit activities – top tips

Ten ways to get the most from internal audit

 Coordination of assurance services

Case study: RPMI pension administrators

Case study: Siemens

Case study: Cambridgeshire County Council

Case study: high street bank

How to set up a new internal audit activity

Internal audit charter

Model internal audit activity charter

  Internal audit document retention

Internal audit manual – you asked us

Internal audit performance management

Managing a dispersed team

Measuring internal audit effectiveness and efficiency

Operational responsibilities – you asked us

Preparing an internal audit strategy - top tips

Raising the profile of internal audit

Supervising an audit engagement

Using internal audit software – top tips

Working with stakeholders

Things to consider when preparing for your annual internal audit opinion

Future proofing internal audit


Skills

1. Building Relationships

IA Professionals build long-term relationships based on trust and respect, both within IA and with management across an organisation.

Relevant guidance

Position paper: Internal audit’s relationship with external audit

Raising the profile of internal audit

Annual internal audit coverage plans

Working with stakeholders


2. Communication

IA Professionals communicate clearly and succinctly, both verbally and in writing, turning complex issues into plain language.

Relevant guidance

Providing ethical assurance to boards 

Difficult clients

Presentation skills – top tips

Internal audit charter

Views from the board

Board briefings


3. Influencing and collaboration

IA Professionals wield influence and motivate others through collaboration to remove organisational barriers, manage conflict, reach consensuses and achieve results.

Relevant guidance

Raising the profile of internal audit

Harnessing the power of internal audit

Working with stakeholders

How internal audit works with the audit committee


4. Analytical and problem solving

IA Professionals determine use of data analytics/data extraction software, and communicate requirements to others.

Relevant guidance

Computer assisted audit techniques (CAATs) 

Using internal audit software – top tips

Research report: Data analytics


5. Business acumen

IA Professionals interpret/articulate key risks impacting organisations and apply wider understanding to drive audit plans.

Relevant guidance

Managing reputation risk

Risk maturity assessment 

Risk appetite – concept and theory

 

Risk appetite – the board’s role

Risk appetite – the role of internal audit 

Coordination of assurance services


6. Risk control and audit methodology

IA Professionals understand different types of control, management control techniques and internal control framework characteristics used in organisations. 

Relevant guidance

Root cause analysis 

Audit universe

Annual internal audit coverage plans

Internal audit manual – you asked us

Preparing an internal audit strategy - top tips


7. Delivery management 

IA Professionals lead/manage audit assignments to deliver quality work against a set budget and timeline.  

Relevant guidance

Ensuring quality in the smallest internal audit activities​

 Quality and international standards

Quality assurance and improvement programmes 


8. Managing others

IA Professionals act as role models, motivate others to deliver results, create environments to encourage creative thinking, and manage through others to deliver results.

Relevant guidance

Coordination of assurance services

How to set up a new internal audit activity

Internal audit performance management

Managing a dispersed team

 Models of effective internal audit

Preparing an internal audit strategy - top tips

Secondments

Training and development

Employee engagements


9. Systems and IT skills

IA Professionals effectively use business systems/software to deliver IA outcomes.

Relevant guidance

Research report: Data analytics

Using internal audit software – top tips

Data analytics, data mining and big data

Social engineering


Behaviours

1. Ethics and integrity

IA Professionals will act with integrity to their profession and the ethical code of conduct of their organisation/auditee, acting as a role model.

Relevant guidance

Accepting gifts and hospitality 

Anti-money laundering

Bribery Act 2010

UK Bribery Act – adequate procedures

Modern Slavery Act 2015

Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking annual statements 


2. Adding value/continuous improvement

IA Professionals apply their knowledge of the organisation and wider context to identify improvements/opportunities to meet objectives and deliver on promises.

Relevant guidance

Supervising an audit engagement

Following up recommendations/management actions

Developing audit competencies 

Using internal audit software – top tips

Working with stakeholders

Performance management

Measuring internal audit effectiveness and efficiency

Models of effective internal audit


3. Professional development

IA Professionals take responsibility for own/audit team’s professional development by seeking out opportunities to learn and grow, and are mindful of others wellbeing, encouraging resilience.

Relevant guidance

Position paper: the rotation of heads of audit

 Coaching

Developing audit competencies 

Mentoring

Internal audit document retention

Internal audit manual – you asked us

IG1210 Proficiency

IG1230 Continuing professional development


4. Proactive and adaptable

IA Professionals are proactive, able to think ahead to adapt their approach to manage conflicting priorities as circumstances and priorities change.

Relevant guidance

Future proofing internal audit 


5. Professional scepticism

IA Professionals demonstrate an attitude that includes a challenging mind and being alert to conditions that may indicate possible misstatement of information due to error or fraud.

Relevant guidance

Things to consider when preparing for your annual internal audit opinion

 Mentoring

Whistleblowing


Auditing business functions

In addition to specific guidance to meet the needs of internal auditors at the various stages of their career, there is a generic range of functions and subject areas that inform all levels of our competence framework.

Read more


Got a question?

Our technical team are on-hand to answers any questions you may have, whether that be in relation to your skill-level or a specific piece of guidance.

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Content reviewed: 19 August 2019