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 (www.protiviti.com/IAsurvey)
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
-- 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
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 www.protiviti.com/IAsurvey.
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 www.protiviti.com/webinars. 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 (www.protiviti.com) 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: www.learningmarket.org.
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