Growing Pains Emerge as Internal Auditors Assume Key Role
in Protecting Businesses From Failure
MENLO PARK, Calif., April 2 /PRNewswire/ -- Gaining a better
understanding of IT risk, International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS)
and extensible business reporting language (XBRL) top the "to do" list for
internal audit executives this year, according to the 2009 Internal Audit
Capabilities and Needs Survey conducted by Protiviti, a global business
consulting and internal audit firm. The survey report also shows ISO 27000
(information security) rounding out the top five concerns list, but indicates
that internal auditors are becoming more comfortable with the data security
and privacy measures companies are implementing.
"In today's volatile business environment, internal auditors play a
critical role in guarding against the breakdowns, losses and inefficiencies
their companies just can't afford," said Bob Hirth, executive vice president
of Global Internal Audit at Protiviti. "You can see the impact of this
economic cycle reflected in the way internal auditors answered this year's
survey; there's a real shift in their view of risk and how it's managed
compared to years past."
This is Protiviti's third Internal Audit Capabilities and Needs Survey.
The 2009 survey had more than 1,000 participants - chief audit executives,
internal audit directors, and managers from publicly traded, private,
government, educational and nonprofit organizations - who hailed from
virtually every major business sector, including financial services,
insurance, real estate, energy, utilities, manufacturing, distribution,
healthcare, technology, biotechnology, hospitality, retail and
telecommunications. The participants answered 100 questions in three
categories: general technical knowledge; audit process knowledge; and personal
skills and capabilities.
Additional survey findings include:
-- Enterprise Risk Management - most pressing for hospitality and life
sciences companies - was among the top-five "need to improve" areas in
the general technical knowledge category.
-- For the first time, four fraud-related activities ranked among the key
areas that needed the most improvement, with healthcare organizations
expressing the most concern.
-- When it comes to personal skills, dealing with confrontation - an area
added to the 2009 survey - ranked the second highest "need to improve"
area, following the development of board of directors and audit
Despite changes in the business environment, some feedback has remained
stable during the survey's three-year history - most notably in the personal
skills and capabilities section. Developing other board committee
relationships has taken the top spot in the category's "need to improve"
section every year of the Protiviti survey, while presenting (public
speaking), developing outside contacts/networking, and developing audit
committee relationships have held relatively consistent positions among the
section's top five rankings.
"An internal auditor's success lies with a commitment to ongoing learning
and improvement, along with a deep understanding of the organization's needs
and how those needs can be met through internal audit," Hirth added. "As a
profession, we must continue to enhance our skills in the areas assessed in
this survey and educate ourselves on new technologies and competencies that
will be required of us in the months and years to come."
The survey was designed to chart internal auditors' evolving business
priorities and their skill sets. This year's survey, which launched at the
67th Annual Institute of Internal Auditors' International Conference, was
conducted during the summer of 2008 and captured the opinions of
industry-leading professionals through in-person and online surveys. A
complimentary copy of Protiviti's 2009 Internal Audit Capabilities and Needs
Survey is available at: www.protiviti.com/go/iacn3.
Protiviti (www.protiviti.com) is a global business consulting and
internal audit firm composed of experts specializing in risk, advisory and
transaction services. The firm helps solve problems in finance and
transactions, operations, technology, litigation, governance, risk, and
compliance. Protiviti's highly trained, results-oriented professionals provide
a unique perspective on a wide range of critical business issues for clients
in the Americas, Asia-Pacific, Europe and the Middle East.
Protiviti has more than 60 locations worldwide and is a wholly owned
subsidiary of Robert Half International Inc. (NYSE: RHI). Founded in 1948,
Robert Half International is a member of the S&P 500 index.
Protiviti is not a law firm and is not licensed or registered as a public
accounting firm. The company does not issue opinions on financial statements
or offer attestation services.
For further information:
For further information: Kathy Keller of Protiviti, +1-650-234-6252,
firstname.lastname@example.org Web Site: http://www.protiviti.com