For internal auditors, innovation is a work in progress

March 12, 2019

Published: AccountingToday

More than three-quarters of internal audit groups (76 percent) are undertaking some form of innovation, according to a new survey by the consulting firm Protiviti, but only 31 percent have a roadmap for it in place.

That means while the internal auditors are positioning themselves for the future, they still have room left for progress.

The survey found that 41 percent of internal audit groups are moderately or far behind their competitors’ internal audit transformation activities. The top 10 audit plan priorities for internal audit this year include enterprise risk management, cybersecurity, vendor risk management, fraud risk management, COSO internal control, agile risk and compliance, lease accounting, cloud computing and revenue recognition.

The types of next-generation internal audit technologies deployed most frequently include advanced analytics (23 percent), process mining (20 percent), robotic process automation (19 percent) and artificial intelligence/machine learning (17 percent).

“Once internal audit departments realize that we’re already in the race to adopt next-gen internal audit capabilities, they’ll need to accept that the journey to the finish line looks more like a marathon than a sprint,” said Brian Christensen, executive vice president of global internal audit at Protiviti, in a statement. “It’s important to remember that transformation to a next-generation internal audit function is not about one or a series of projects, but rather a culture and mindset focused on continuing innovation and seeking ways to do things better by leveraging new processes and the latest technologies.”

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