IIA Looks to Enhance Its Internal Audit Framework—What Is Your Take?

Vincent Tophoff | August 14, 2014 | 1

Professional accountants and internal auditors share interests in many areas, such as governance, risk management, business reporting, and the provision of assurance. But they do so from different perspectives as they fulfill different roles.

The most obvious is, of course, the role of the internal auditor versus the role of the external accountant. But also inside organizations, their roles differ as professional accountants typically work more in accounting or finance functions and internal auditors in risk and compliance functions. However, during their careers many professionals from both groups rotate in and out each other’s domains and, even more often, collaborate in the same projects or work toward the same objectives. They are even sometimes dependent on the work of the other for their own responsibilities!

For these and additional reasons, IFAC is fortunate to have the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) among our affiliate members. The signing of a Memorandum of Understanding last year has created an even broader basis for coordination, collaboration, and resource sharing. Representatives from both organizations are now engaged in mutual projects on, for example, public sector governance, integrated reporting, and global alignment of risk management guidelines. We also regularly speak at each other’s conferences and congresses, such as the keynote address by IFAC Deputy President Olivia Kirtley at the IIA 2014 General Audit Management Conference and the presentation by Anton van Wyk, Global Chairman of the IIA, at the upcoming World Congress of Accountants in November. In addition, we promote each other’s publications and materials, including on the Global Knowledge Gateway.

One of the major technical projects of the IIA this year, in which IFAC representatives are also involved, is the enhancement of its Internal Audit Framework. To this end the IIA recently issued for public comment an exposure draft on proposed enhancements to its International Professional Practices Framework (comments are requested by November 3, 2014). Among other things, the exposure draft introduces a mission statement for internal auditing* as well as a set of 12 core principles** for the professional practice of internal auditing. It also introduces a new element of guidance to provide advice on emerging issues. In this very informative, 10 minute video Hal Garyn, the IIA’s Vice President of Professional Practices, reviews the proposed updates, enhancements, and changes.

IFAC is currently considering our response and for that reason we would love to hear your views. In addition, you can also submit your own comments to the IIA or provide a personal response to the questions posed in the exposure draft. As the content of this IIA framework is relevant for many professional accountants and as the IIA would love to hear from its stakeholders, we urge you to have a look at the document and then have a say about the proposed changes!

* Proposed mission of internal auditing: “To enhance and protect organizational value by providing stakeholders with risk-based, objective and reliable assurance, advice and insight.

** Proposed core principles for the professional practice of internal auditing:

  1. Demonstrates uncompromised integrity.
  2. Displays objectivity in mindset and approach.
  3. Demonstrates commitment to competence.
  4. Is appropriately positioned within the organization with sufficient organizational authority
  5. Aligns strategically with the aims and goals of the enterprise.
  6. Has adequate resources to effectively address significant risks.
  7. Demonstrates quality and continuous improvement.
  8. Achieves efficiency and effectiveness in delivery.
  9. Communicates effectively.
  10. Provides reliable assurance to those charged with governance.
  11. Is insightful, proactive, and future-focused.
  12. Promotes positive change.

Vincent Tophoff

Senior Technical Manager

Vincent Tophoff is senior technical manager with the Professional Accountants in Business (PAIB) Committee of IFAC. Previously, he was a partner at INTE-Q Integration Management, a management accountancy consulting firm in The Netherlands and senior lecturer at the postgraduate accountancy program of the Vrije University in Amsterdam.  See more by Vincent Tophoff

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Alpaslan Menevse December 12, 2014

Hi Vincent, Do you have any concerns about the first 11 principals would disable 12th?

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