Internal Auditing is a specialist profession that requires certain competencies and attributes.
Many people make the mistake that an Accountant is an Internal Auditor. Whilst many Accountants do become Internal Auditors, it is not true to say that any Accountant is competent to perform internal audit work.
This takes specialised training over many years and in fact Internal Auditors can come from almost any discipline including areas such as engineering, healthcare and ICT.
Many people also make the mistake of assuming ISO–related auditing such as the auditing of Quality Management Systems is the same as internal auditing conducted in corporate and public sector organisations.
Internal audit is a key pillar of good governance. It provides the Board of Directors, the Audit Committee, the Chief Executive Officer, Senior Executives and stakeholders with an independent view on whether the organisation has an appropriate risk and control environment, whilst also acting as a catalyst for a strong risk and compliance culture within an organisation.
The definition of internal auditing is ‘an independent, objective assurance and consulting activity designed to add value and improve an organisation’s operations. It helps an organisation accomplish its objectives by bringing a systematic, disciplined approach to evaluate and improve the effectiveness of risk management, control, and governance processes’. (Source: The International Standards for the Professional Practice of Internal Auditing issued by the Institute of Internal Auditors
Internal audit work is risk–based and encompasses both financial and non–financial operations of the organisation.
The most recent revision of the ASX Corporate Governance Principles and Recommendations (3rd edition, 2014) has adopted the position that if listed organisations do not have an Internal Audit function, they need to explain the reason (‘if not, why not’).
The Australia Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) has mandated a requirement for internal audit for financial institutions in one of its prudential standards.
In a public sector context, many Governments require Internal Audit functions to be established.
The Institute of Internal Auditors – Australia has produced a policy agenda with one of the key policy principles being that ‘Internal Audit should operate at a consistently high standard’. This principle is supported by four recommendations.
- The IIA ‘International Standards for the Professional Practice of Internal Auditing’ (Standards) should be mandatory for anyone conducting internal audit work.
- Anyone conducting internal audit work should be able to demonstrate compliance with the Standards.
- Membership of the IIA-Australia should be recognised as the minimum requirement for all practicing Internal Auditors
- The head of Internal Audit (Chief Audit Executive) and anyone issuing internal audit reports should be required to be IIA-Australia certified.
For Internal Auditors, the IIA-Australia has various membership categories including Professional Membership which generally requires successful completion of certification examinations or post-graduate study or equivalent.
If you are looking for an Internal Auditor
If you are looking for an Internal Auditor, or would like to know more about internal auditing, you are welcome to download the accompanying Factsheet or to contact the IIA-Australia: Factsheet: Internal Audit – Why it’s Important
If you would like to know more about audit committees, you are welcome to download the accompanying Factsheet or to contact the IIA-Australia: Factsheet: Audit Committees in brief
For more information about Internal Auditing, contact: E: IAassist@iia.org.au T:
+61 2 9267 9155 Toll Free:
1800 236 366 (outside Sydney)