Internal audit: the keys to a necessary evolution

05 Mar 2020

Article co-écrit avec Yoan Chazal, Associé RA, Benjamin Brecy, Senior Manager RA et Dylan Bergounhe, Consultant RA.

Already in 2016, we mentioned the need to redefine the role played by internal audit within organizations. This redefinition is now more necessary than ever: regulatory pressure in terms of risk management, increased responsibility of managers, integration of new non-financial risks in control systems, democratization of new technologies … These unprecedented changes require on organizations to rethink the organizational model of their internal audit function.

This redesign of the model revolves around three priority axes:

  • Strengthen the prospective vision;
  • Register new technologies to the internal audit methodology;
  • Audit RPA and artificial intelligence solutions

Strengthening the prospective vision

Conventionally, internal audit assures stakeholders that standards and processes are respected and that the exposed risks related to the organization are controlled. Beyond an analysis, report and follow-up role of potential anomalies, which remains the heart of the function, the internal audit occupies a role of advice and help in decision-making.

Internal audit, for example, supports the first and second lines of defense in the definition and design of their controls and issues opinions in real time on them. Consequently, the internal audit no longer finds after the fact that the controls are inappropriate, but ensures, from their conception, that they are adequate and likely to mitigate the risks to which they respond. This role provides significant confidence to internal stakeholders in the proper execution of their processes and controls and is likely to reduce the financial and reputational costs, potentially generated by inappropriate controls. This support for internal audit is also a source of confidence for stakeholders outside the organization, investors in particular, whose attention to extra-financial considerations has increased.