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Many people cringe when they hear the word ‘audit’ because it is almost inextricably linked with ‘tax’—another cringe-worthy topic. Admittedly, audits can be uncomfortable; very few people enjoy time spent under a microscope. But as the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) points out, internal audits represent important links in the chain of comprehensive risk mitigation.
Since May is International Internal Audit Awareness Month, we’re taking a closer look at how this misunderstood and oft-maligned profession delivers big benefits to companies.
What does an internal auditor do?
The Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) offers this description: “At its simplest, internal auditing involves identifying the risks that could keep an organization from achieving its goals, making sure the organization’s leaders know about these risks, and proactively recommending improvements to help reduce the risks.”
Internal auditors typically report directly to the “highest governing body” of an organization, ensuring that they have the authority to drive change, when needed.
Internal auditors aren’t boring bean-counters, either. While ensuring the accuracy of financial statements is one aspect of the job, internal auditors wear many hats:
Make the most of your internal auditor
Since we’re celebrating International Internal Audits Awareness Month, May is the perfect time for risk management professionals to reach out to internal auditors.
After all, you’re on the same team.
Instead of feeling threatened or nervous about an audit of your third-party risk management processes, embrace the internal auditor’s expertise.
An internal auditor’s understanding of the big picture can help you optimize your due diligence and ongoing risk monitoring to better protect against reputational, regulatory, financial or strategic risks. In the long run, better results yield advantages for the business—and your professional reputation. Sounds like a win-win situation, doesn’t it?