Internal auditors ‘hammering down the boardroom door’

Internal auditors 'hammering down the boardroom door'

Internal auditors are increasingly getting access to the boardroom as Sarbanes-Oxley and stricter regulation increase their importance

At the 2nd annual UK/Ireland Institute of Internal Auditors conference, held
at the Renaissance Chancery Court Hotel, Paul Marshall, MD of Internal Audit
Services at US-based Protiviti, told delegates that they faced unprecedented
interest in their work.

‘Internal auditors are more than ever being invited to boardroom and senior
management meetings, and they’re even hammering down the door, as their profile
has changed due to the importance of what they deliver,’ he said

‘As shareholders and external auditors require more information and
increasing rigour is being added to company reporting as a result of
Sarbanes-Oxley amongst other things, internal auditors are in greater demand at
decision-making levels,’ Marshall argued.

Last week’s conference saw 300 senior figures from the internal audit
profession discussing key issues.

‘Regulatory reform and a changing business environment underscore the growing
importance of effective governance and risk management and control,’ Marshall
added.

‘Sarbanes Oxley has had a positive impact on the internal audit role, as it
has put back key disciplines into the business,’ he said.

Internal audits can be uncomfortable, Simon D’ Arcy, associate director of
Audit Services at Portman Building Services, said.

‘For those who have to undergo the internal audit, it’s a bit like taking cod
liver oil – you know its good for you, but you would rather not take it,’ he
said.

HM Revenue and Customs head of internal audit Melvyn Neate said that internal
audit reports should be restricted to no longer than 10 pages.

‘Communication is key. The internal auditor has no executive authority so can
only generate improvement by persuading those with executive authority,’ Neate
said.

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