Explaining Internal Audit

Do you ever dread getting a blank stare when you tell people you are an internal auditor? Some of you may recall that IIA-Australia has been working to find a succinct answer to the question ‘what is an internal auditor?’.

There are many in-depth, insightful publications that explain the purpose of Internal Audit, how it adds value to an organisation and the principles under which it operates; but these explanations rarely spell out exactly what we do in plain language.

After consultation with members and our board, we believe we have developed a description that explains the work of internal auditors clearly and simply:

As an internal auditor, I give advice to executives and Boards to help them make better decisions. 

I do this by taking an independent view of how the different parts of an organisation operate and reporting this back to the decision makers. 

The main things I look for are what is working well, how the organisation can be more efficient; and how to strengthen processes, procedures and controls to respond to risks.