Protiviti Survey Finds Internal Auditors More Focused on Managing and Leveraging Technology to Protect Companies Against Risks

Protiviti Survey Finds Internal Auditors More Focused on Managing and 
Leveraging Technology to Protect Companies Against Risks 
Results also indicate social media, mobile apps, cloud computing and IT 
security are areas of concern 
MENLO PARK, Calif., March 19, 2014 /CNW/ - According to the 2014 Internal 
Audit Capabilities and Needs Survey Report ( 
released today by global consulting firm Protiviti, Internal auditors' 
priorities are to better navigate social media risks, leverage technology to 
improve the audit process, and collaborate more with business partners to 
address organizational risks. 
"Internal audit professionals' plates are more than full as they strive to 
protect their companies from exposure to risk while assessing new technologies 
and learning new regulatory requirements and professional standards," said 
Brian Christensen, executive vice president, global internal audit, Protiviti. 
"The responses to our survey reveal the myriad challenges – and 
opportunities ? they face under evolving business conditions. Those 
professionals who place a priority on being anticipatory, change-oriented and 
highly adaptive have the best chance of serving their organizations' risk 
management needs effectively." 
More than 600 internal audit professionals, including chief audit executive 
(CAEs), responded to Protiviti's eighth annual survey to assess the top 
priorities for internal audit functions. In addition to assessing general 
technical knowledge, audit process knowledge, and personal skills and 
capabilities, respondents to the 2014 survey also provided information about 
their companies' audit processes for managing social media risk. 
Social Media Risks Continue to Present Challenges   For the second consecutive 
year, the survey asked about social media risks and their integration into the 
audit process. Nearly half (47 percent) of surveyed organizations do not 
include in their audit plans cybersecurity risk as it relates to social media. 
According to respondents, the most important concerns related to social media 
risks include: 

        --  Financial loss
        --  Interrupted business continuity
        --  Loss of intellectual property
        --  Loss of employee property
        --  Viruses and malware

Despite some signs of progress, the survey's results suggest companies need to 
make dramatic improvements. For organizations that do have social media 
policies, significant concerns remain as many still fail to address critical 
issues. For example, in cases where respondents said a social media policy is 
in place, survey results showed that nearly 30 percent fail to address 
disclosure of employee information and only 66 percent address information 

"It's clear based on the survey results that companies are not doing enough to 
address social media risks and safeguards, and in turn are facing undue 
exposure to significant risks to their business," said Christensen. "These 
results should persuade the board, executive management and CAEs to take a 
more active and vigilant approach to managing social media risks."

Technical Knowledge – Top Five Priorities  Internal audit professionals 
assessed their competency in 49 areas of technical knowledge and then 
indicated whether they believe their knowledge is adequate or needs 
improvement. Based on the findings, the top areas for technical knowledge 
improvement are:
      1. Mobile applications
      2. NIST Cybersecurity Framework (a new addition to the list compared
         to previous surveys)
      3. Social media applications
      4. Cloud computing
      5. Data analysis technologies

Audit Process Knowledge – Top Five Priorities  Respondents also evaluated 35 
areas of audit process knowledge in terms of where they need to improve. The 
top priorities are:
      1. Computer-assisted audit tools (CAATs)
      2. Data analysis tools for data manipulation
      3. Data analysis tools for statistical analysis
      4. Auditing IT using new technologies
      5. Data analysis tools for sampling

The results show that internal auditors are intent on improving the way they 
leverage technology, with a focus on methods for continuous monitoring and 
auditing, as well as advanced data analysis techniques. Results also indicate 
a desire to improve and become more proactive in dealing with 
technology-related risks by auditing IT security more effectively and 
improving approaches to fraud monitoring.

Personal Skills and Capabilities  Survey findings about personal skills and 
capabilities demonstrated a growing desire for internal auditors to work more 
collaboratively within the internal audit function and throughout their 
companies. In particular, CAEs identified the importance of communicating the 
role and importance of the audit function to internal and external partners.

About the Survey  Protiviti's 2014 Internal Audit Capabilities and Needs 
Survey Report was fielded between September and October 2013. A majority of 
the survey participants work in publicly traded and privately held companies 
and represents virtually all industry sectors. A small percentage of 
respondents works for government and non-profit organizations. The full report 
of survey results and analysis is available at

Additional resources Available: Webinar, Video, Podcast and Infographic  
Protiviti will conduct a complimentary webinar exploring the survey's results 
on April 17 at 10:00 a.m. PDT. The 90-minute webinar is eligible for CPE 
credit* and will be hosted by Christensen and David Brand, a Protiviti 
managing director and leader of the firm's IT audit practice. Please register 
for the webinar at Additionally, both a video and 
a podcast featuring Christensen discussing insights of the survey results are 
also available, along with an infographic, 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, and has served more than 35 percent of 
FORTUNE 1000(®) and FORTUNE Global 500(®) companies. Protiviti and its 
independently owned Member Firms serve clients through a network of more than 
70 locations in over 20 countries. The firm also works with smaller, growing 
companies, including those looking to go public, as well as with government 

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

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.

*Protiviti is registered with the National Association of State Boards of 
Accountancy (NASBA) as a sponsor of continuing professional education on the 
National Registry of CPE Sponsors. State boards of accountancy have final 
authority on the acceptance of individual courses for CPE credit. Complaints 
regarding registered sponsors may be submitted to the National Registry of CPE 
Sponsors through its website:

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SOURCE  Protiviti 
Kathy Keller, +1-650-234-6252, 
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-0- Mar/19/2014 17:00 GMT
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