New mission, principles articulated for internal audit

By Ken Tysiac

Changes to professional guidance unveiled Monday are designed to help internal auditors provide service that helps their organizations successfully navigate risks that are changing and accelerating rapidly.

The Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) announced that its International Professional Practices Framework is changing to introduce a newly articulated mission for internal audit as well as 10 core principles for the professional practice of internal audit.

According to the newly introduced mission, internal audit aspires “to enhance and protect organizational value by providing risk-based and objective assurance, advice, and insight.”

The core principles also have been articulated for the first time, although the framework always has been principles-based. According to the update, the following principles must be present and operating effectively for an internal audit function to be considered effective:

  • Demonstrates integrity.
  • Demonstrates competence and due professional care.
  • Is objective and free from undue influence (independent).
  • Aligns with the strategies, objectives, and risks of the organization.
  • Is appropriately positioned and adequately resourced.
  • Demonstrates quality and continuous improvement.
  • Communicates effectively.
  • Provides risk-based assurance.
  • Is insightful, proactive, and future-focused.
  • Promotes organizational improvement.

Failure to achieve any of the principles would imply that an internal audit activity is not as effective as it could be in achieving internal audit’s mission.

“The enhancements we unveil today are designed to strengthen internal audit’s position as an invaluable partner in business success,” Larry Harrington, senior vice chairman of the IIA’s global board and chairman of the steering committee for the framework update, said in a news release.

The updated framework also will transition the IIA’s “practice advisories” to a more comprehensive suite of “implementation guidance” and will group IIA practice guides and global technology audit guides as supplemental guidance.

Ken Tysiac ( ktysiac@aicpa.org ) is a JofA editorial director.

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