Updated: Nov 6, 2020
Why you should have a strategy for your Internal Audit department and how to write one
Similar to an organisation's own strategy, a strategy for an internal audit department is beneficial for detailing the objectives of the audit department and how we are going to get there. An Internal Audit strategy will also help shows how the department's activities link to the wider objectives and strategy of the organisation.
There is no specific standard requiring an Internal Audit Strategy, however a good strategy document can help ensure your audit department meets the requirements of the IPPF and Code of Practice (where applicable).
The Chartered Institute of Internal Auditors has a great guidance document which details how to prepare an Internal Audit Strategy. You can download a copy of their guidance document here. Their guidance document provides 14 tips which can help you build a well rounded strategy.
To help give you a starting point for your strategy, we have prepared an easy to use template. Click on the links below to access the templates:
Click here for the free Microsoft Word template.
Click here for the editable Microsoft Word template.
Click here for the free Microsoft PowerPoint template.
Click here for the editable Microsoft PowerPoint template.
A snapshot of the Word template is presented below:
Things to include in your strategy
There are many things which can be built into your Internal Audit Strategy. Below are a few of the items which we think you should include, and why:
How Internal Audit will help achieve the company's objectives. I.e. show how our audits will link directly to the audit strategy.
How Internal Audit will upskill team members. I.e. what our training program will include to increase auditors skills and awareness of the business.
How Internal Audit will measure its success, both in the delivery of audits and achievement of the audit strategy.
How Internal Audit will implement and embed new technologies (i.e. use of data analytics or robotics into audit processes).
How Internal Audit will build more collaborative relationships across the business and assist in thought leadership and best practice (i.e. drop in educational / awareness sessions).
How Internal Audit can assist in implementation of the new Three Lines model.
How Internal Audit can help the business with its risk mitigation strategies and implementation of controls and process improvement.
How Internal Audit can assist in addressing the expectation gap between external auditors and internal auditors.
The objectives of the strategy can be endless, however its best to focus on only a few key areas which will directly impact or link back to the organisation's own strategy and objectives. Aboveall, consideration should be given to the Chartered IIA's guidance document when developing your Internal Audit Strategy.
Let us know what your own Internal Audit Strategy looks like in the comments below.