Annual PwC report finds that 75% of Internal Audit functions who use advanced technology and talent contribute significant value to their organisations
12 March 2018 – As the pace of innovation continues to accelerate, Internal Auditors face the growing challenge of helping their organisations ensure effective processes and controls while still helping to drive growth for their businesses. A new study from PwC – ‘Moving at the speed of innovation: The foundational tools and talents of technology-enabled Internal Audit’ – reveals that more advanced Internal Audit functions are creating departments with a cohesive technology and talent strategy.
Surveying more than 2,500 board members, senior executives and audit professionals across 92 countries, PwC's State of the Internal Audit Profession report shows that 75% of Internal Audit teams who have a strong technology- and talent- enabled strategy in place are contributing significant value to their organisations, compared to only 34% of teams which are lacking in an advanced technology strategy and skill sets.
Technology advancements are evolving quickly, and organisations are developing tomorrow’s innovations faster than ever before. However, these tools present new risks and leading Internal Audit functions must provide a unique perspective around them early in the technology innovation cycle. The most successful Internal Audit organisations are not only prepared to help mitigate the risk of these advanced technologies, but are leveraging the very same tools to execute their work in a more effective manner.
Andrew McPherson, PwC Global Governance Risk Compliance (GRC) and Internal Audit Leader, says:
“Internal Auditors are now expected to have a point of view on new technologies and to be able to provide valuable advice on how to embrace innovation while considering how it might shift the organisation’s risk profile and impact its day-to-day operations.”
According to PwC’s survey, only 14% of Internal Audit functions are advanced in their technology adoption (known as ‘Evolvers’). Surprisingly, Evolvers are not just found in large organisations or in regulated industries. They span industries, company sizes and geographies, suggesting that organisations can overcome stereotypical technology barriers of budget and size. While Evolvers are a small group, they set the example: nearly half (46%) of Internal Audit functions are following Evolvers’ technology adoption, but at a slower pace (‘Followers’). The remaining 37% of Internal Audit functions lag in technology adoption and are considered ‘Observers’.
The report highlights Evolver characteristics which make these top-performing Internal Audit functions stand out. These include:
In order to keep pace with their organisation’s innovation agenda, Internal Audit needs a strong technology and talent strategy to push the boundaries of their own innovation. Internal Audit could have the best innovation plan, but won’t be able to execute without the right reinforcements. The combination of technology and talent is the key to accelerating progress.
To download a full copy of the report, please visit: pwc.com/us/2018internalauditstudy
PwC understands that significant risk is rarely confined to discrete areas within an organisation. Rather, most significant risks have a wide-ranging impact across the organisation. As a result, PwC’s Risk Assurance practice has developed a holistic approach to risk that helps to protect businesses, facilitate strategic decision making and enhance efficiency. This approach is complemented by the extensive risk and controls technical knowledge and sector-specific experience of its Risk Assurance professionals. The end result is a risk solution tailored to the unique needs of the organisation.About PwC
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