Internal auditors need to radically rethink
and redefine the way they work in response to new challenges in the
market, according to a global study by PricewaterhouseCoopers

The study, 2010 State of the Internal
Audit Profession
, found that strategic risk management has
become a key issue for business leaders globally.

Respondents said internal audit has the right
company-wide visibility and mandate to serve as strategic risk
advisers to boards and provide business leaders with actionable
business risk intelligence.

PwC advisory lead partner for Romania Dinu
Bumbacea explained that the financial crisis has caused a
heightened scrutiny of companies’ risk management practices.

“As many have blamed the crisis on poor risk
management, CEOs across all industries are looking to upgrade their
enterprise-wide risk management capability to better prepare for
success in what is likely to be a very challenging business
environment,” Bumbacea said.

The study identified three critical focus
areas for internal audit departments:

• Critical risks and issues;

• Aligning internal audit’s value position
with its stakeholders’ expectations; and,

• Matching the staffing model with that value

According to PwC, these are also the three
areas where internal audit leaders believe they have the most room
to improve.

Bumbacea said the main question is whether
internal audit is delivering on the needs and expectations of what
the internal audit should provide.

“There is also a challenge in building
consensus for an expanded and more strategic role for internal
audit,” Bumbacea added.

More than 2,000 professionals from more than
50 countries participated in the survey.