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Are internal auditors scrutinised enough?

I have recently been attending a training course provided by the Institute of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand. The course has focused largely on recent company collapses in the UK and the role of the company's management, the accountants, the external auditor, and the regulator during the demise of some high profile businesses. The course has also touched on the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee (BCIES) inquiries into Carillion and Thomas Cook.

I've personally found the course very interesting, as well as validating; confirming many of my own personal opinions. There has been one notable exemption from the course however; the internal auditor. Given the nature of the course and it's intended audience, I'll cut the ICAANZ some slack, but it did provoke a lot more thinking into the role of Internal Audit in all of these companies. After all, if the board, management and external auditor must all face the wrath of a government inquiry and the Financial Reporting Council (FRC), why should the internal auditor get off scott free?

It's probably worth looking into Corporate Governance arrangements in the UK and whether legally, businesses are required to have an internal audit function. The ICAS has a great article about internal audit and its role in corporate governance. You can read the full article here. At present, there is no law requiring businesses in the United Kingdom to have an internal a