July 10, 2018 | Palo Alto, California: As part of its ongoing efforts in understanding industry trends,  MetricStream Research announced today the findings of its latest survey, State of Internal Audit 2018 - Impact and Opportunities. The survey evaluated 600 organizations from 15 industries across the globe to understand internal audit management challenges, priorities, program structures, and technologies used.

Key Findings

Internal audit’s focus is on building risk awareness and aligning with business strategy

Respondents reported that their top audit priorities for 2018 are to provide timely insights on key risks, align audit planning with business strategy, and improve audit processes and operational effectiveness. However, their top challenges lie in adding value to the business, and aligning audit processes to changes in the business organization.

Auditors want technology solutions for real-time data access and detailed analysis and presentation

As boards and executive management teams demand deeper insights into risks, internal auditors are looking to leverage more analytics and other emerging technologies. 77% of the respondents reported an interest in data querying and analysis tools, 75% in continuous control monitoring tools, 60% in data visualization capabilities, and 58% in modeling and predictive analysis tools.

Fig: Top 5 Industries where ERM programs are managed by Internal Audit teams

Enterprise risk management (ERM) is not yet pervasive

Only 50% of the respondents reported having a dedicated ERM team and program. Of the remaining respondents, 25% indicated not having an ERM program at all, which could be a significant cause for concern. Meanwhile, 25% reported that their organizations’ ERM program is maintained by their internal audit team.

Other key findings:

  • 86% of respondents have embraced a risk-based approach to audit planning and execution
  • 80% of respondents define their audit universe before audit planning, while 39% define it during audit planning, and 20% during audit execution
  • Only 19% of respondents use balanced scorecards to assess the effectiveness of their internal audit program; the rest still rely on qualitative, unstructured assessment approaches like open dialogues between the senior management and auditors, and self-assessments by the audit team

“Today’s internal auditors have a new mandate to go beyond traditional assurance, and to deliver strategic, forward-looking, actionable risk insights that can help the business perform with integrity,” said French Caldwell, Chief Evangelist, MetricStream. “Rising to this new demand will require internal auditors to upskill, improve agility and cross-functional collaboration, and leverage technologies like predictive analytics and continuous monitoring tools. It’s a significant shift in role and outlook, but it’s also an opportunity for internal audit to create new impact and value for the business.”

To access the MetricStream Research report, click here.

About MetricStream

MetricStream is the independent market leader in enterprise cloud applications for governance, risk, compliance (GRC), and quality management. MetricStream apps and software solutions improve business performance by strengthening risk management, corporate governance, regulatory compliance, audit management, vendor governance, and quality management for organizations across industries, including banking and financial services, health care, life sciences, energy and utilities, consumer brands, government, technology, and manufacturing. MetricStream is headquartered in Palo Alto, California, with an operations and GRC innovation center in Bengaluru, India, and sales and operations support in 12 other cities globally.(www.metricstream.com).

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