Protiviti's Internal Audit Survey Finds Lack of Social Media Policy and Process Plaguing Organizations with Unnecessary Risks

Protiviti's Internal Audit Survey Finds Lack of Social Media Policy and 
Process Plaguing Organizations with Unnecessary Risks 
Research Shows Additional Internal Audit Priorities Include Concern about 
Fraud Risk and Technology for Big Data Analytics 
MENLO PARK, Calif., March 18, 2013 /CNW/ - Internal audit professionals are 
adjusting rapidly to new challenges in a changing business environment and 
prioritizing social media, fraud risk, and data analysis tools as key areas 
for improvement in the year ahead, according to the 2013 Internal Audit 
Capabilities and Needs Survey Report ( released 
today by global consulting firm Protiviti ( 
While the seventh annual edition of the study surveyed more than 1000 internal 
audit professionals about their technical and audit process knowledge, a key 
focus of this year's report was on social media usage and related audit 
processes and policies. Key findings show that 43 percent of respondents have 
no social media policy within their organizations, and among companies with a 
social media policy, many fail to address basic issues. In fact, information 
security and approved use of social media applications are areas that are not 
covered in nearly one in three organizations (30 percent). 
What may be the most striking result from the survey is that more than half 
(51 percent) of organizations do not address social media risk as part of 
their risk assessment process, with 45 percent indicating that they have no 
plans to do so in the coming year's audit plan. Additionally, of those that do 
address social media risk, 84 percent rated their organizations social media 
risk-assessment capability as "not effective" or just "moderately effective." 
"The survey findings are surprising in that they show how many businesses are 
either inadequately prepared or altogether inactive in putting effective 
processes and policies in place around social media," said Brian Christensen, 
executive vice president, global internal audit, at Protiviti. "From a risk 
management perspective, this poses significant potential problems for 
businesses that can range from reputational risk to IT infrastructure risk as 
a result of unchecked exposures to customer, vendor and company information." 
Evaluating Technical and Audit Process Knowledge 
In terms of rating general technical knowledge, internal auditors identified 
social media applications as the top area for improvement – by a substantial 
margin – mirroring the 2012 findings.  Issues related to cloud computing and 
fraud risk management are also among the top priorities on the list of areas 
that need to improve. Notably, fraud risk management ranked 13 out of 51 
evaluated areas, despite respondents giving it one of the highest scores for 
existing competency. 
Respondents also evaluated 42 areas of audit process knowledge in terms of 
where they need to improve, and ranked data analysis tools and fraud as the 
predominant issues of concern. Eight of the top 10 priorities in audit process 
knowledge that most need improvement were related to data analysis tools (data 
manipulation ranked #1; statistical analysis ranked #5; sampling ranked #9) 
and fraud (monitoring ranked #1; fraud risk assessment ranked #4; fraud 
detection/investigation ranked #6; fraud auditing ranked #10).  In contrast, 
there were no fraud related issues ranked among the top five areas for 
improvement in 2012 or 2011. 
"The internal audit function has a tremendous responsibility for ensuring that 
rigorous and systematic scrutiny is applied to business processes and emerging 
risks in real-time," said Christensen. "Organizations can't afford to have 
inefficiencies or undue exposure to risk, and a critical aspect of eliminating 
these problems is to understand areas that require improvement." 
Other Key Survey Findings 

    --  Continuous auditing was the top priority in terms of audit
        process knowledge in 2011 and 2012, but dropped down to #18 in
        the 2013 rankings.
    --  For audit process knowledge, auditing IT – new
        technologies was the third highest needs-improvement priority,
        and scored significantly lower than any other area evaluated
        with regard to existing competency.
    --  Concerns among chief audit executives were generally aligned
        with the broader sampling of respondents. However, they did
        rank audit process knowledge around Computer-assisted Audit
        Techniques (CAATs) as a higher priority for improvement,
        compared to the overall ranking.

About the Survey

Protiviti's 2013 Internal Audit Capabilities and Needs Survey Report was 
fielded between September and October 2012 and respondents answered more than 
130 questions in three categories: Technical Knowledge, Audit Process 
Capabilities, and Personal Skills and Capabilities.  More than one-third of 
the participants work in publicly traded companies and represent virtually all 
industry sectors, with others working across a variety of private, government, 
and not-for-profit organizations. The full report is available at

Webinar and Video

Protiviti will conduct a complimentary webinar exploring the survey's results 
on March 28 at 9:00 a.m. PDT. The 90-minute webinar is eligible for CPE credit 
and will be hosted by Christensen and Michael Thor, a Protiviti managing 
director. Please register for the webinar at 
Additionally, a video featuring Christensen discussing highlights from the 
survey is also available on the Protiviti website at

About Protiviti

Protiviti ( is a global consulting firm that helps companies 
solve problems in finance, technology, operations, governance, risk and 
internal audit. Through its network of more than 70 offices in over 20 
countries, Protiviti has served more than 35 percent of FORTUNE® 1000 and 
Global 500 companies. The firm also works with smaller, growing companies, 
including those looking to go public, as well as with government agencies.

Protiviti is a wholly owned subsidiary of Robert Half International (NYSE: 
RHI). Founded in 1948, Robert Half International is a member of the S&P 500 

Protiviti is not licensed or registered as a public accounting firm and does 
not issue opinions on financial statements or offer attestation services.

Editor's note: infographic and photo available upon request.

Kathy Keller, +1-650-234-6252,

PRN Photo Desk,

SOURCE: Protiviti

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