We look at the quality of Internal Audit’s work and the impact it makes by asking several key questions that underpin our approach and the effectiveness of any internal audit function.

What is Internal Audit there to do?

We’ll understand its role and operating context looking at remit, reporting lines, stakeholder expectations, standing, alignment to other assurance activities…

Is it equipped to do it?

We’ll assess how far it’s fit for purpose reviewing structure, management, resources, tools, strategy, plans, training, conflict management, independence…

Is it doing what it’s supposed to do?

We’ll look at its work assessing risk evaluation, planning, co-ordination, execution, documentation, reporting, impact, relationships, follow-through…

How well is it positioned for the future?

We’ll discuss with directors, management and auditors how well Internal Audit has changed in line with the business and what’s needed to support the longer-term strategy

We'll look at angles such as...

  • Communication

  • Management support

  • Audit report

  • Audit Committee support

  • Root cause identification

  • Resource numbers/skills

  • Use of audit software

  • Assurance/risk management

  • Future challenges

Our approach is usually...

  • Documentation Review

    To build a picture of what Internal Audit does, how it’s organised and how it reports.

  • Stakeholder interviews

    To understand expectations and to assess the impact they make.

  • Time with team members

    To get a view of what they do in practice and the challenges, including walk-throughs.

  • Avoiding surprises

    We meet the Head of Audit regularly and keep in contact with the committee chairman.

In benchmarking we take into account the practices and problems observed at other clients.  Our experience is extensive from internal audit reviews, our other work on audit committees, boards and risk management – and our auditor contacts.

All the time we are drawing on best practice.

But our benchmarking is usually informal: formal benchmarking needs to be handled with care, often promising a lot more than it can actually deliver with quantitative comparisons difficult to interpret without information that is usually unavailable.

If you’re not looking for an interview-based approach this time round, take a look at how we can support you using our online tool Thinking Board…