Audit – Internal auditors demand role

European internal auditors will tomorrow demand more recognition of their role and harmonisation between member states in a high-level meeting with the European Commission.

Neil Cowan, director general of the European Confederation of Institutes of Internal Auditing, will meet Financial Information and Accounting Standards unit (DGXV) head Karel van Hulle to emphasise the need for greater co-operation between internal and external auditors.

Cowan said: ‘We would like to start working with DGXV to develop the scope and the contribution of internal auditors, so that external auditors can rely much more on the work of the internal function.’

This, he said, was essential in maintaining good corporate governance while also preventing fraud.

He will be presenting the recent Turnbull report to Van Hulle as a template for good corporate governance and accountability which could be used as a basis for harmonisation throughout Europe.

‘I will also be pressing the need for the acceptance of European-wide internal auditing standards which I expect will be in use within the next two years,’ he said.

The meeting follows last week’s announcement by the EC of an action plan to consolidate European capital markets which included references to the future use of International Accounting Standards as an option for reporting.

Cowan will also be flagging up the need for a review of the role of internal audit in fraud prevention, and the ECIIA’s own research into this area which is due to be published in September.

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