Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Is This Your Vision of The Future Auditor?

Today, I have attended a webinar hosted by IIA Canada ( The Future Auditor: The CAE's Endgame). Below is a summary of the major points covered during the webinar for the benefit of those who are interested in this subject.

 It started by defining the future auditor as: "The term future auditor describes a CAE  who takes definitive steps toward making this vision a reality within the organization he/she serves"

While I understand that the focus of the webinar was on CAEs, I think the term "future auditor " should cover internal auditors at all levels. I have missed the first few minutes of the webinar, so I am assuming that what is meant by " this vision" in the above statement refers to the IIA definition of internal audit as that what preceded the above statement.

The detailed definition of the future auditor included, among others,:
  • Establishes relevance by understanding the organization's business objectives and strategy and identifying risks
  • Is authorized to evaluate and challenge the design and operating effectiveness of the organization's governance, risk management, and internal control processes.
  • Possesses escalation authority and proactively exercises that authority to bring important matters to management and board for resolution on a timely basis

The speaker, Chris Wright of Protiviti, identified 12 ways the future auditor can create value :

  1. Think more strategically when analyzing risk and framing audit plans.
  2.  Provide early warning on emerging risks
  3.  Broaden the focus on operations, compliance and non -financial reporting issues
  4.  Strengthen the lines of defense that make risk management work
  5. Improve information for decision making across the organization
  6. Watch for signs of a deteriorating risk culture
  7. Expand the emphasis on assurance through effective communications with management  and the Board
  8. Collaborate more effectively with other independent functions focus on managing risk and compliance
  9. Leverage technology - enabled auditing
  10. Improve the control structure ,including the use of automated controls
  11. Advise on improving and streamlining compliance management
  12. Remain vigilant with respect to fraud 

The above points are valid and important, but did not provide any new perspective ! Isn't this what many CAEs' are doing today ? Where is the vision for tomorrow ?

Please share your thoughts on how the future auditor should look like .

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