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Global Study of Internal Audit Stakeholders

Two reports offer insights to improve audit committee, internal audit performance

NEW YORK (July 18, 2016) — Two new reports unveiled here today offer valuable insights to improve internal audit and audit committee performance, based on a comprehensive global study of internal audit stakeholders.

The first report concludes that differing views and sometimes competing interests among internal audit stakeholders — particularly board members and the C-suite — can make identifying and meeting stakeholders’ demands a challenge.

The second offers six imperatives for audit committees that can propel internal audit to “move beyond assurance to provide value-added advisory services, and deliver to expectations.”

Both reports are based on data gleaned from the Global Internal Audit Common Body of Knowledge (CBOK) Stakeholder Study, which compiled the views of more than 1,000 internal audit stakeholders in 23 countries through surveys, one-on-one interviews, and additional data analysis. The stakeholder study is administered through The Institute of Internal Auditors Research Foundation (IIARF), and the survey, interviews and analysis were conducted by global consulting firm Protiviti.

“These first two reports offer a tantalizing glimpse into the wealth of information gathered through the CBOK Stakeholder Study,” said IIA President and CEO Richard F. Chambers, CIA, QIAL, CGAP, CCSA, CRMA. “This comprehensive study will provide material for a number of reports in the coming year.”

The first report, “Voice of the Customer: What Stakeholders Are Telling Internal Audit” is co-authored by the current and incoming IIA Global Board chairmen, Larry Harrington, CIA, QIAL, CRMA and Angela Witzany, CIA, QIAL, CRMA. It identifies key messages from stakeholders to internal auditors on how best to improve performance and bring value to their organizations.

Among those key messages are:

  • Internal audit should know the organization’s mission, strategy, objective and risks.
  • Assurance work is highly valued and most valuable when aligned with the organization’s strategic risks.
  • Advisory work is highly desired from internal audit, especially in the area of risk.
  • Internal audit should build relationships with management and board members based on mutual trust and respect.

The report breaks down the findings into six key areas and identifies key action items for internal auditors to achieve best practices.
In “Six Audit Committee Imperatives: Enabling Internal Audit to Make a Difference,” authors Jim DeLoach, a managing director with Protiviti, and Charlotta Lofstrand Hjelm, CIA, QIAL, offer insights to audit committee members on how best to position internal audit to be at the top of its game.

Three broad themes emerged from the study regarding audit committees. According to the report, audit committees should:

  • Enable internal auditors to think more broadly and strategically.
  • Encourage internal audit to move beyond assurance.
  • Take steps to ensure CAEs and the internal audit function are effectively positioned to deliver to expectations.

The report then identifies six imperatives to support the three broad themes, including elevating the CAE’s stature, encouraging internal auditors to think beyond the scope of the audit plan, and expanding internal audit’s role on strategic risks.

“Protiviti is honored to have had the opportunity to work closely with The Research Foundation in conducting this important study,” said Brian Christensen, Protiviti's executive vice president, global internal audit. “The insights gained from the CBOK study provide a clear pathway for chief audit executives to elevate the value proposition of internal audit and for audit committees and other stakeholders to enable progress toward that goal. These two reports and others to come will help advance the relevance of the profession in these dynamic times.”

The stakeholder study reports and other CBOK reports can be downloaded for free at the CBOK Resource exchange at

About The IIARF

Established in 1976, The Institute of Internal Auditors Research Foundation (IIARF) is the global leader in sponsoring, disseminating, and promoting research and knowledge resources about internal audit. Its mission is to shape, advance, and expand knowledge of internal auditing by providing relevant research and educational products to the profession globally.

About Protiviti, Inc.

Protiviti ( is a global consulting firm that helps companies solve problems in finance, technology, operations, governance, risk and internal audit, and has served more than 60 percent of Fortune 1000® and 35 percent of Fortune Global 500® companies. Protiviti and its independently owned Member Firms serve clients through a network of more than 70 locations in over 20 countries. The firm also works with smaller, growing companies, including those looking to go public, as well as with government agencies.

Named to the 2016 Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For® list, Protiviti is a wholly owned subsidiary of Robert Half (NYSE: RHI). Founded in 1948, Robert Half is a member of the S&P 500 index.


Protiviti is not licensed or registered as a public accounting firm and does not issue opinions on financial statements or offer attestation services.