2018 Internal Audit Capabilities and Needs Survey

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Analytics in Auditing Is a Game Changer

With digitalization, robotics and business transformation gaining more momentum in organizations every day, internal audit needs to embrace analytics — and fast.

Data analytics will be a game changer for the internal audit profession. Organizations worldwide are undertaking business and digital transformation initiatives, enabling changes that will have far-reaching effects on every enterprise function. Not surprisingly, the ability to utilize data analytics and “big data” to achieve competitive advantage and manage operations and strategic plans ranks among the top risk issues for board members and C-suite executives worldwide. Machine learning and robotic process automation are among the many emerging technologies and innovations with which internal audit functions need to keep pace or else risk being left behind.

Coupled with growing demands from boards and executive management for deeper insights into strategic risks the organization faces, leveraging analytics and robotics are front-burner priorities for chief audit executives and their teams. Even so, as is underscored in the results of our 2018 Internal Audit Capabilities and Needs Survey, many internal audit departments are still struggling to develop a formal methodology for integrating data analytics into their work.

This year’s key findings:

  • The use of analytics in auditing remains in the early stages.
  • Audit analytics may be more advanced among European and Asia-Pacific organizations.
  • There is a correlation between audit committee engagement in analytics and information the committee receives about internal audit’s use of analytics.
  • Fraud, cyber security threats, third-party risk, ERM and corporate culture are top audit plan priorities.

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