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Nearly 4 in 10 Internal Audit Functions Outsource Work

CBOK survey finds organizations seek to boost resources, add specialized skills

ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, Fla. (Jan. 28, 2016) — One of the biggest challenges chief audit executives (CAEs) face is having enough staff and expertise to meet growing stakeholder demands. A new report from The Institute of Internal Auditors Research Foundation (IIARF) finds that 38 percent of organizations turn to outside services to meet some of those demands.

The report, Engaging Third Parties for Internal Audit Activities, takes deeper looks at third-party activities in a number of areas including usage by industry, region, organization size and budget, and at anticipated third-party usage in the coming year.

For example, the report finds that the financial sector is the biggest user of outside help, where 45 percent of organizations use third parties for internal audit activities. This is followed by publicly traded companies, excluding the financial sector, at 43 percent.

The regional breakdown shows North America leads in the percentage of organizations that use third-party services (56 percent), while South Asia leads in the average percentage of activity performed by third parties (39 percent).

The report also offers important insights into the best practices when using third-party services, including clearly identifying objectives, scope of services, level of expertise needed, performance metrics, and responsibilities for remediation and follow up. Finally, the report looks at how CAEs can take advantage of knowledge and expertise offered by third-party providers.

“This report offers an important snapshot on the profession’s use of third-party services,” said IIA President and CEO Richard F. Chambers, CIA, QIAL, CGAP, CCSA, CRMA. “As demands on internal audit evolve, we will need to turn increasingly to third-party services, so it is imperative that CAEs understand best practices in this area.”

Interviews with veteran CAEs, who offer their career insights on using third-party services, supplement the report.

The report bases its findings on the CBOK 2015 Global Practitioners Survey, which drew more than 14,500 respondents from 166 countries earlier this year. The survey is part of the CBOK study, the largest ongoing study of internal audit practitioners and their stakeholders.

The report is the latest in a series being produced by the IIARF based on CBOK data. More than two dozen reports are planned through July 2016. It and other CBOK reports can be downloaded for free at the CBOK Resource exchange at