PwC presents at the 2nd Internal Audit Conference in Athens

September 2011 

Τhe 2nd Internal Audit Conference was held on September 30, 2011 in Athens, under the auspices of the Hellenic Institute of Internal Auditors. This year’s conference, titled “The 360° Outlook”, brought together representatives from all major industries (banking, manufacturing, commerce, communications, transportation, etc), while the total number of attendees neared 200. Among the speakers was Kostas Perris, Head of the Internal Audit Services Department of PwC in Greece.

In the first part of his presentation, Mr. Perris outlined the potential synergies between internal and external auditors, along with the related benefits, while the second part focused on internal audit’s multifaceted role within a company’s Governance, Risk Management and Compliance (GRC) framework.

More specifically, with regard to the synergies between internal and external auditors, Mr. Perris analysed the two ways by which external audit effort can be reduced: 

  1. when external auditors can rely on the company’s internal controls, on whose adequacy and effectiveness the internal auditor can provide assurance and advice
  2. when external auditors can use the internal auditor’s own work, which of course they must previously assess against specific standards.

Mr. Perris analysed the potential benefits from the realisation of such synergies for all stakeholders (external auditors, internal auditors and the company as a whole). Finally, a real-life example was presented, where relevant synergies between internal and external auditors have produced measurable and practical benefits.

In the second part of his presentation regarding the position of the internal auditor within the GRC framework, Mr. Perris stressed the dual role of internal audit: although operating as part of GRC, at the same time it is also responsible for assessing its components (top management and the functions of Risk Management and Compliance), since they are part of the overall System of Internal Controls. Mr. Perris also presented specific best practices, which, according to PwC’s experience, can promote coordination and communication between internal audit and all of the aforementioned functions.

 If you wish to read this article in Greek, please click here.