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
MENLO PARK, Calif., March 19, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- 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
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
oInterrupted business continuity
oLoss of intellectual property
oLoss of employee property
oViruses 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:
2.NIST Cybersecurity Framework (a new addition to the list compared to
3.Social media applications
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
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 agencies.
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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