Fourth edition of Internal Audit Capabilities and Needs Survey reveals key
areas for improvement; April 15 webinar will share results
<p>MENLO PARK, Calif., <span class="xn-chron">April 13</span> /CNW/ -- Internal auditors are in high demand today as employers affected by the global economic crisis recognize the critical role internal audit plays in ensuring a healthy business. But as technology seeps into more of their daily duties, internal auditors are worried about how lagging information technology skills could hurt their ability to perform their jobs, according to new research from Protiviti, a global business consulting and internal audit firm.</p>
<p>"Companies now rely more heavily on internal auditors to help improve organizational processes and ensure the quality of risk management programs. To be effective, a company's internal audit professional must be a jack of all trades, with a particular depth of skill in technology," said <span class="xn-person">Bob Hirth</span>, Protiviti executive vice president and head of global internal audit. "While internal auditors are rising to the occasion, it hasn't been easy - especially in areas such as IT that require ongoing skills development that in turn must be balanced with an internal auditor's increasing job responsibilities. Protiviti continues to see organizations face a greater number of risks that require specialists not just in IT, but also in operational, regulatory and compliance matters. Under this scenario, internal audit functions not availing themselves of outside resources and specialists are putting their organizations at unacceptable levels of risk."</p>
<p>Survey respondents were asked to identify the categories of knowledge most in need of improvement among their internal audit teams and the results showed just how critical technology has become. IT-related skills ranked as the number one area for improvement in three of the survey's four categories. While tech-related categories such as "IT governance" were new to the survey this year, "Computer-Assisted Audit Techniques (CAATs)" has remained the most in-demand area of audit-process knowledge for three straight years. In the general knowledge category, survey respondents were most in need of professionals with knowledge of "The Guide to the Assessment of IT Risk (GAIT)." This category of knowledge ranked second among respondents last year.</p>
Other key survey findings include:
-- In the personal skills and capabilities category, the ability to
"develop other board committee relationships" is no longer viewed as
area in need of significant improvement, according to executives
surveyed. While chief audit executives still rated this area higher
than any other in terms of the need for stronger skills, overall
responses pushed it out of the top five in 2010. It was the category's
top response in 2008 and 2009.
-- Fraud risk and external quality assessments placed in the top three in
the new IIA Standards category, demonstrating that both the prevalence
and potential of fraudulent conduct by parties inside and outside the
organization remain a top priority for management and a primary focus
for internal audit.
-- Over the last three years, there has been a high degree of consistency
among top results in the audit process knowledge category - with
continuous auditing, data analysis tools (both data manipulation and
statistical analysis), and audit IT all appearing in the top five as
areas most in need of improvement.
-- The demand for experience with ISO 27000, the certification standard
for information security developed by the International Organization
for Standardization, remains strong. This skill set has been among the
top-five areas for improvement since 2008.
-- Both IFRS and XBRL, added in 2009 as areas of general technical
knowledge, took positions in the top five of the 2009 and 2010 surveys
as subjects in which executives would like to gain more knowledge.
-- Strategic thinking ranked in the top five "need to improve" areas in
the personal skills and capabilities category for the second
consecutive year, corresponding to the recent period of global
recession and indicating the internal auditor's emerging role as a
strategic partner within business.
-- Presenting (public speaking) is the top "need to improve" area in the
personal skills and capabilities category. A consistent top-five
response, it has become in higher demand every year since the study's
<p>Protiviti's 2010 Internal Audit Capabilities and Needs Survey looks at four categories that cover all aspects of internal auditors' evolving role: changes to IIA Standards (new to this year's survey); general technical knowledge; audit process knowledge; and personal skills and capabilities. Hailing from virtually every major business sector, more than 700 participants - chief audit executives, internal audit directors, and managers from publicly traded, private, government, educational and nonprofit organizations - weighed in on 100-plus questions about their skills and professional-development priorities.</p>
<p>The survey was designed to chart internal auditors' evolving business priorities and their skill sets. This year's survey was conducted August through <span class="xn-chron">October 2009</span>, capturing the opinions of industry-leading professionals through in-person and online surveys. A complimentary copy of Protiviti's 2010 Internal Audit Capabilities and Needs Survey is available at: <a href="http://www.protiviti.com/2010IACapabilitiesandNeedsSurvey">http://www.protiviti.com/2010IACapabilitiesandNeedsSurvey</a>.</p>
Learn More with April 15 Webinar
<p>Protiviti - along with speakers from The IIA, Raytheon and <span class="xn-person">Basil Woller</span> & Associates - will reveal other key findings and explore survey trends and historical data during a complimentary 90-minute webinar on <span class="xn-chron">Thursday, April 15</span>, starting at <span class="xn-chron">noon PDT</span>/<span class="xn-chron">2:00 p.m. CDT</span>/<span class="xn-chron">3:00 p.m. EDT</span>. To register for Internal Audit Capabilities and Needs: Where do you rate?, please visit: <a href="http://www.protiviti.com/iacapabilitiesandneedswebinar">http://www.protiviti.com/iacapabilitiesandneedswebinar</a>.</p>
<p>Protiviti (<a href="http://www.protiviti.com">www.protiviti.com</a>) 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, <span class="xn-location">Europe</span> and the <span class="xn-location">Middle East</span>.</p>
<p>Protiviti has more than 60 locations worldwide and is a wholly owned subsidiary of <span class="xn-person">Robert Half</span> International Inc. (NYSE: RHI). Founded in 1948, <span class="xn-person">Robert Half</span> International is a member of the S&P 500 index.</p>
<p>Protiviti is not licensed or registered as a public accounting firm and does not issue opinions on financial statements or offer attestation services.</p>
For further information: For further information: Kathy Keller of Protiviti, +1-650-234-6252, firstname.lastname@example.org Web Site: http://www.protiviti.com