Internal Audit's New Role

As incidents of fraud continue to surface and lawmakers pass new legislation to control public firms, demand for accountants has soared. Some firms have taken the additional step of building up their internal audit departments to uncover problems more quickly. According to a new Ernst and Young study, the internal audit function is also expanding into a new role: business improvement. Specifically, internal auditors are more frequently:

  • Recommending ways to improve basic business processes
  • Identifying risks and recommending strategies to avoid these risks

As internal audit departments become more powerful, large organizations expect to lift spending on equipment and services in the following percentages in order to support the new mandates:

  • Information technology 54%
  • Major capital programs 53%
  • Business process improvement 45%
  • Information security 44%

Since the internal audit departments in many organizations also lack specific training to match their new job requirements, consulting firms, training companies, and colleges and universities could all develop curriculum materials and sell services to bring staffers up to speed.

Share the tables and charts in the Ernest & Young study with your B to B clients. Whether these businesses are recruiting, training or consulting, they could benefit by offering specialized services to firms who are faced with new trends in internal auditing practices.

[Source: Global Internal Audit Survey, Ernst and Young, 2008] 
Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.