As this unprecedented year is winding down, it is time for internal audit to take a moment and perform an honest self-assessment that goes beyond the requirements of standard 1311 of the International Standards of the Professional Practice of Internal Auditing.
If you have not already performed the assessment, here is a list of some suggested questions internal auditors need to ask themselves:
- Did we really try our best to help our company to survive and succeed in any way we could?
- Did we act fast enough or did we panic and hesitated?
- Did we adapt to the new normal in a reasonable time?
- Were we prepared for a crisis like this in terms of training, communication skills, and mindset?
- Did we lead or did we wait to be told what to do?
- Did we realize that the pandemic also presented a unique opportunity for internal audit to rise and shine? Did we take advantage of this opportunity?
- What did we learn about ourselves at the professional and personal levels? Is an internal audit career still in our future?
- Did we accurately identify our weaknesses and shortcomings and developed a plan to deal with them?
- Are we now more relevant or less relevant to the company? Did our stakeholders change their perception about internal audit?
- Do we have a clear vision of our role and responsibilities post-pandemic? Do we understand how we can contribute to business resilience and the continuation of operations?
- If we have failed, do we have the courage to admit it and seek help to transform and pave the way back to success?
Some of the above questions are difficult to digest and answer. But, unless we do so, we can not move forward and achieve our goals.
It takes honesty, courage, and determination to address the above questions and take appropriate actions.
These are my thoughts, please share yours!