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Internal Audit Insights 2020

High-impact areas of focus

The 8th annual edition of Internal Audit Insights: High-impact areas of focus, identifies activities and risks that present opportunities for Internal Audit functions to make a positive impact within their organisations.

In this year’s edition, the report identifies Internal Audit key initiatives relating to digitalisation, as well as to sustainability, crisis management, extended enterprise risk management and the three lines of defense.

In this report, we see Internal Audit functions around the world continuing to expand their impact and influence within their organisations, building on the advances reported in our most recent global survey of chief audit executives. Prominent among these advances are adoption of new methods of working with stakeholders, increased use of automation in assurance, and delivery of advisory services as well as assurance around the most important risks to the organisation.
Assure, advise, and anticipate form the core value proposition of Internal Audit 3.0. Initiatives in these areas are essential not only for Internal Audit to fulfill its assurance mandate but to advise management and help anticipate risks in our rapidly evolving technology and risk environment. To continue to increase its value, Internal Audit must approach risk assessment, audit planning, sampling, and testing in new ways. Data is now too comprehensive, available, and valuable to go to waste. Moreover, the technologies to enable accessto and analysis of that data are readily at hand and more cost effective to utilise.

Therefore, we have identified Internal Audit initiatives related to digitalisation, as well as to sustainability, crisis management, EERM, and the three lines of defense, to consider when developing Internal Audit plans and identifying projects for 2020.

We advise to venture beyond traditional audit planning and focus on the most important risks. For example, Agile Internal Auditing and dynamic risk assessment can help allocate assurance resources to areas where they will do the most good. By the same token, Internal Audit can assist the entire organisation in raising its risk management game to the levels that executives, audit committees, and other stakeholders now expect.

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