2015 State of the Internal Audit Profession - Finding true north in a period of rapid transformation

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05/01/2015 by Internal audit services
2015 State of the Internal Audit Profession - Finding true north in a period of rapid transformation

At a glance

In this year’s study of more than 1300 chief audit executives (CAEs), internal audit managers, members of senior management and board members, PwC discusses the concept of True North, a set of ideals used to guide an organization from its current state to where it wants to be.

PwC’s annual survey results suggest that external drivers of change are influencing how internal audit should evolve to maintain its relevance.

As today’s companies drive new business strategies forward, internal audit should also be evolving at a similar pace in order to maintain the relevance and value it brings. In this year’s study of more than 1300 chief audit executives (CAEs), internal audit managers, members of senior management and board members, PwC discusses the concept of True North, a set of ideals used to guide an organization from its current state to where it wants to be. Finding True North requires innovation, self-reflection and the ability to ask “what should we do?” not “what can we do?”

In this year’s research report we focus on:

  • How internal audit functions must evolve to meet the needs of ever changing and often transforming businesses.
  • How Internal Audit skills and capabilities must advance in order to contribute value.
  • The growing importance of Data Analytics and strategies for advancing their use.
  • Collaboration of internal audit with other lines of defense to strengthen overall risk management

According to many interviewed, internal audit must evolve to keep up with the needs of a business which looks substantially different today. This evolution requires a mindset change for many CAEs and their stakeholders – a change in the perception of internal audit’s role and the value it delivers.

Key Findings

Building an Internal Audit Function that is innovative and adaptive to change

PwC has long discussed the importance of Internal Audit’s eight foundational attributes. In this time of transformation, our survey identified the following four areas seen by CAEs and stakeholders alike as top enablers for internal audit to add more value:

  • A focus on the right risks at the optimal time in the process
  • The talent and business acumen to be relevant and offer valuable insight
  • Stronger alignment with ERM, other lines of defense and business partners
  • Proficient use of data analytics to provide powerful insights into the business

This year's study reflects the opinions of more than 1300 chief audit executives (CAEs), internal audit managers, members of senior management and board members who tell us.

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