Internal auditors are expanding their roles beyond compliance to include advising on business improvement and strategy, but their skills in these specialty areas may not be keeping up, according to the Ernst & Young 2008 Global Internal Audit Survey.
The results of the survey, which included 348 internal audit executives in 35 countries, show a need for greater focus on operational risks over the next two years. Respondents cited the following as the top areas in need of increased attention:
Mergers and acquisitions (61%)
Major capital programs (53%)
Performance improvements (45%)
Information security (44%)
However, the survey also found that internal audit’s traditional competencies don’t fully meet the needs of today’s organizations. Only 17% of respondents rated their risk assessment performance as “very competent.” Lack of time dedicated to training efforts is the key impediment to specialty skills development, said 55% of the respondents.