What competencies and characteristics are required in order to achieve the highest levels of quality by Internal Auditors?
|The internal audit profession is made up of many diverse personalities and professional capabilities.
This week, we have taken a deeper look at the key competencies required by Internal Auditors in order to achieve the highest levels of quality.
Internal auditing requires a unique set of characteristics and competencies that differentiate the profession from others. It helps an organization accomplish its objectives by bringing a systematic, disciplined approach to evaluate and improve the effectiveness of risk management, control, and governance processes.”
Key attributes essentials for internal audit success are :
1. Professionalism grounded in ethics: Professionalism refers to the knowledgeable use of significant skills, and performing work at the highest of levels. As trusted advisors, internal auditors should aspire to become certified and fulfil internal audit’s mission to “enhance and protect organizational value by providing risk-based and objective assurance, advice, and insight.
2. Management anchored by planning: The purpose, authority, and responsibility of the internal audit activity must be formally defined in an internal audit charter, consistent with the Mission of Internal Audit and the mandatory elements of the International Professional Practices Framework (the Core Principles for the Professional Practice of Internal Auditing, the Code of Ethics, the Standards, and the Definition of Internal Auditing).
3. Communication and delivery require connection and mindfulness: Final communication of engagement results must include applicable conclusions, as well as applicable recommendations and/or action plans. Where appropriate, the internal auditors’ opinion should be provided. An opinion must take into account the expectations of senior management, the board, and other stakeholders and must be supported by sufficient, reliable, relevant, and useful information.
4. Collaboration unimpeded by independence: The chief audit executive must report to a level within the organization that allows the internal audit activity to fulfil its responsibilities. The chief audit executive must confirm to the board, at least annually, the organizational independence of the internal audit activity. The chief audit executive must communicate and interact directly with the board. Internal auditors must have an impartial, unbiased attitude and avoid any conflict of interest.
5. Critical thinking promotes agility and flexibility: “The ability to think critically involves three things: (1) an attitude of being disposed to consider in a thoughtful way the problems and subjects that come within the range of one’s experiences, (2) knowledge of the methods of logical inquiry and reasoning, and (3) some skill in applying those methods.”
6. Improvement and change spur high performance: The internal audit activity must evaluate and contribute to the improvement of the organization’s governance, risk management, and control processes using a systematic, disciplined, and risk-based approach. Internal audit credibility and value are enhanced when auditors are proactive and their evaluations offer new insights and consider the future impact.
7. Learning requires self-commitment: Internal auditors must enhance their knowledge, skills, and other competencies through continuing professional development.
8. GRC must meet expectations of boards and stakeholders: The internal audit activity must assess and make appropriate recommendations to improve the organization’s governance processes for: Making strategic and operational decisions, Overseeing risk management and control, Promoting appropriate ethics and values within the organization, Ensuring effective organizational performance management and accountability, Communicating risk and control information to appropriate areas of the organization.
Audit International are specialists in the recruitment of Internal Auditors and Corporate Governance Professionals across Europe and the US.
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