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​Most Internal Auditors Earn Raises in 2014
IIA survey shows 92% of U.S. firms boost salaries; specialized skills favored

ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, Fla. (Sept. 30, 2014) — Nine in 10 U.S.-based internal auditors received pay raises in 2014, according to The Institute of Internal Auditors’ annual Audit Executive Center Internal Audit Compensation Study. It marked the fifth consecutive year in which the percentage seeing salary increases grew.

What’s more, 66 percent of companies awarded raises to their entire audit staff, according to the survey of more than 460 organizations in the United States. That compares with pay increases by 34 percent of organizations to all non-audit employees.

While those seeing bigger paychecks in the United States was the highest (92 percent) since 2008, and up from 88 percent in 2013, a smaller share of internal auditors in Canada received more — 85 percent in 2014 vs. 97 percent in 2013.

As in past years, U.S. and Canadian respondents to the annual compensation survey reported higher median salaries for internal auditors with specialized skills, such as IT and fraud/forensics. There also remains a strong correlation between higher salaries and experience, education, and professional certifications.

The highest median salaries in the United States were earned by IT specialists, whether auditors, senior auditors, managers, or directors. For example, the median salary was $59,921 for auditors in general and $74,500 for IT auditors, according the survey. In Canada, internal auditors specializing in environmental, health, and safety issues topped the pack.

The survey’s findings reflect changes in internal audit’s scope of work. Fewer financial audits combined with increased focus elsewhere — primarily in IT — point to the profession becoming increasingly involved in technical areas.

These findings suggest that Chief Audit Executives (CAEs) and other heads of audit will need to routinely re-examine the composition of their internal audit teams to keep up with evolving demands.

“The IIA’s annual compensation study offers key benchmarking information about salaries and important insight in terms of both internal audit’s value to organizations and which specializations are most in demand,” said IIA President and CEO Richard F. Chambers, CIA, QIAL, CGAP, CCSA, CRMA. “This level of information will be invaluable for chief audit executives and audit committees as they navigate through significant changes in expectations and demands being placed on internal audit.”

Higher educational attainment also translates to higher pay, according to the survey, with internal auditors who hold a master’s degree earning 12 percent more than those with a bachelor’s in the United States and 11 percent more in Canada.

Professional certifications also continued to be associated with higher salaries. On average, internal auditors with one or more certifications, such as the Certified Internal Auditor (CIA) designation, earned 25 percent more than non-certified colleagues.

More than 500 organizations in the United States and Canada responded to the survey, including nearly 300 that provided detailed salary data for nearly 2,200 internal audit professionals.

The annual compensation study is produced by The IIA’s Audit Executive Center, which provides CAEs with a suite of information, products, and services that enable to them respond to the unique challenges and emerging risks of the profession. Learn more about the Center.

IIA members can download the executive summary for free, and the comprehensive report which includes results for Canada is available for purchase through The IIA Research Foundation Bookstore.