As organizations face an increasingly dynamic and unpredictable world, they are turning to their internal auditors as trusted advisers who can provide assurance and advice in navigating through the risks and opportunities ahead.
To meet the evolving expectations of stakeholders, internal auditors must keep their skills and knowledge up-to-date, which is why The IIA makes professionalism a key component of its strategy. The IIA aims to provide its members with relevant, actionable tools and capabilities that support their efforts to help their organizations face the future with confidence.
Demonstrating Internal Audit Excellence
An internal audit department’s efficacy and efficiency are inexorably linked to the skills and competencies of its staff. And so it is crucial that new and rotational auditors get the support they need. In 2015, The IIA launched a new designation: the Internal Audit Practitioner. Candidates can earn the title by passing Part One of the exam for the industry-benchmark certification, the Certified Internal Auditor (CIA). The designation suits both those looking to progress to full certification and those who pass through an internal audit function so they can increase their knowledge and skills in risk management and internal control.
“To meet the evolving expectations of stakeholders, internal auditors must keep their skills and knowledge up-to-date…”
The IIA evolves its exam content to ensure that each exam aligns with the necessary job skills that practitioners need. To inform changes to the Certified Government Auditing Professional (CGAP) exam syllabus, public sector auditors participated in a survey to rate the knowledge, skills, and abilities required to test government auditing competencies. Next up is completion of the Certified Financial Services Auditor (CFSA) Job Analysis Study and subsequent revisions to the corresponding exam syllabus.
For internal audit practitioners who seek to demonstrate competency in internal control, The IIA and the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (COSO) partnered to offer an opportunity to earn a certificate in the 2013 COSO Internal Control–Integrated Framework. Those successfully completing the program — a combination of self-paced learning, a hands-on workshop, and an online examination — exhibit an ability to design and implement an effective system of internal control utilizing the framework. Participation requires that internal auditors implement the framework in the context of their own organizations, thereby increasing their value to the business.
Standards for Professional Development
The IIA requires certified practitioners to keep their professional competencies sharp by devoting time to continuing professional education (CPE). In 2015, The IIA launched its Recognized CPE Provider program, which sets out clear standards to help internal auditors select relevant CPE credit activities. In addition, the program supports CPE credit providers in planning and developing their activities, and gives them formal acknowledgment that they have demonstrably satisfied the appropriate guidelines. Internal auditors can therefore make more informed choices, and also benefit from the increasing quality of CPE opportunities to acquire the skills and training they need to serve their organizations well and advance in their careers.
Specialized auditing is becoming increasingly important as the complexity and depth of business and regulation increase. This is notably the case in the financial services sector. To meet the needs of professional internal auditors working in the industry, The IIA created the Financial Services Audit Center in 2015. The premium specialty center delivers affordable, high-quality CPE opportunities; a platform for members to connect with peers; and specialized thought leadership and resources that promote the professional practice of internal auditing in financial services.
In September 2015, the Center hosted the Financial Services Exchange, a two-day event in Washington, D.C., that was the first in an annual series of conferences bringing together financial services industry leaders, practitioners, and regulators for discussions and sharing of leading practices.Financial Services Audit Center
Beyond the financial services sector, The IIA also continued to extend support to environmental, health and safety (EHS) auditors through a merger with the Auditing Roundtable Inc. The IIA now administers the Certified Professional Environmental Auditor (CPEA) and Certified Process Safety Auditor (CPSA) credentials. The merger with Auditing Roundtable presents a unique opportunity to increase the number of EHS certifications internationally through The IIA’s network of members.
The IIA created the Environmental, Health & Safety Audit Center in the first quarter of 2016 to deliver high-quality professional services and resources that promote the highest standards of auditing excellence in the field.
“Environmental, Health and Safety auditing is a very specialized field, but one that can bring great benefits to an organization. The Auditing Roundtable’s merger with The IIA will help spread that knowledge and expertise among a broad range of businesses around the globe. It’s one of those occasions when there are true synergies in joining forces.”
To build the “integrated auditor,” The IIA will soon offer a framework that enables an internal auditor to execute integrated audits on IT issues with IT professionals and lines of business. As part of the framework, tools, resources, and thought leadership will support internal auditors’ acquisition of fundamental IT competencies.
Responding to Change
The IIA continues to provide internal auditors with world-class training so they can educate themselves on issues of pressing importance to their organizations. In 2015, to tackle emerging risks and to strengthen fundamental auditing skills, The IIA added a number of topical courses, including:
- Logging In: Auditing Cybersecurity in an Unsecure World, which offers auditors the opportunity to advance their knowledge about the latest cybersecurity threats, their potential business and reputational impacts, and how to implement proper controls to protect their organizations.
- Fundamentals of IT Auditing, which provides internal auditors with an introduction to the topic, emphasizing key concepts and tools through exercises and case studies.
- Enterprise Risk Management (ERM): Elements of the Process, which presents more senior auditors with further insight into monitoring risk at an enterprisewide level and applying the evolutionary and fluid process of developing, implementing, and evaluating ERM.
To connect members with information that helps them stay current, The IIA has widened availability of IIA SmartBrief to a global audience. The e-newsletter features news and developments that affect the internal audit profession.