Moving at the speed of innovation

2018 State of the Internal Audit Profession Study

Does your internal audit function have the talent and tools to help your organization address a risk landscape inundated with change from emerging technology?

New technologies are changing the way we do business and making new things possible, creating new products and services, markets and organizations. For internal audit to continue to deliver value, it needs to understand the impact of these technology innovations on their organizations. Boards and Executives expect internal audit functions to have a point of view on new technologies and to be able to provide advice on how the organization should embrace them while managing the risks and implementing strong controls.

Highlights

  • 85% of Evolvers focus on technology enablement as part of their strategic plans.

  • 56% of respondents agree that failing to improve Internal Audit’s technology adoption will diminish their value to their organization.

  • Evolvers are rated as more valuable to an organization - 75% of them are contributing significant value vs 54% of followers.

 

How will internal audit functions need to evolve in the future?

Businesses are using emerging technologies to disrupt and innovate. Their Internal Audit functions have the opportunity to deliver the confidence and trust that allows them to truly take advantage of these disruptive technologies.

loading-player

Playback of this video is not currently available

PwC's Global GRC and Internal Audit Leader Andrew McPherson talks about how the internal audit can evolve and enable future innovation.

“The real pitfall for Internal Audit is if they don’t stay current on new technologies then they won’t have a seat at the table and be perceived to be adding value; they need to stay current (not be experts) to stay relevant.”

Alvin BledsoeAudit Committee Chair, SunCoke Energy

Fusing talent and technology

Organizations that are more advanced in their adoption of technology are also simultaneously considering its impact on their talent model. Availability of talent is driving technology decisions and vice versa. Different skills may be required to bring new technologies into everyday operations. 

Strategies for effective technology adoption

Dashboards and workflow tools are foundational elements of a timely and efficient internal audit function. These tools ease Internal Audit’s work with those they are auditing or advising, and simplify sharing information and collaborating with risk functions. As Collaboration tools, combined with dashboard and workflow tools, can greatly facilitate the audit process. Shared drives and intranet sites, used in tandem with video conferencing for cross office collaboration, can assist in how internal audit teams work with their stakeholders across locations, facilitate transparency and simplifies the process for following up on open audit items. Internal audit functions that are more advanced in their use of collaboration tools stand out from their peers in managing stakeholder relationships and cost efficiencies.

Leading internal audit organizations - more than 80% of Evolvers - have the ability to extract data directly from operational and financial systems themselves. Proficiency in the company’s systems demonstrates Internal Audit is invested in, and a partner to, the organization.

Though a topic of discussion among internal auditors for decades, progress towards data analytics adoption has been comparatively slow. Internal auditors are becoming increasingly aware of the need to have analytics and data-driven decisions at the heart of operations. Leading internal audit functions report significant use of data analytics and monitoring and are using analytics in a transformational way that fundamentally changes the nature of auditing.

As organizations embrace intelligent automation in products and services, Internal Audit will need to be knowledgeable about these technologies well in advance of applying them within the department. Though only 40% of evolvers are using predictive and intelligent automation tools to enhance their approach, the benefits are clear - by fully or partially automating mundane tasks workers can be redirected to more challenging and rewarding assignments.

Contact us

Jason Pett
Risk Assurance Leader, PwC US
Tel: +1 (410) 659 3380
Email

Lauren Massey
Internal Audit, Compliance & Risk Management Solutions Principal, PwC US
Tel: +1 (813) 222 5455
Email

Mark Kristall
Partner, Internal Audit, Compliance & Risk Management Solutions
Tel: +1 (617) 530 7592
Email

Terrence Panfil
Director, Internal Audit, Compliance & Risk Management Solutions, PwC US
Tel: +1 (312) 298-2868
Email

Follow us