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XBRL Blog Magazine: IT Risk, IFRS Transition Rank among Internal Auditors’ Biggest Concerns, According to Protiviti Survey

MENLO PARK, Calif., April 2 /PRNewswire/ — Gaining a better understanding of IT risk, International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) and extensible business reporting language (XBRL) top the “to do” list for internal audit executives this year, according to the 2009 Internal Audit Capabilities and Needs Survey conducted by Protiviti, a global business consulting and internal audit firm. The survey report also shows ISO 27000 (information security) rounding out the top five concerns list, but indicates that internal auditors are becoming more comfortable with the data security and privacy measures companies are implementing.

(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20090115/AQTH541LOGO)

“In today’s volatile business environment, internal auditors play a critical role in guarding against the breakdowns, losses and inefficiencies their companies just can’t afford,” said Bob Hirth, executive vice president of Global Internal Audit at Protiviti. “You can see the impact of this economic cycle reflected in the way internal auditors answered this year’s survey; there’s a real shift in their view of risk and how it’s managed compared to years past.”

This is Protiviti’s third Internal Audit Capabilities and Needs Survey. The 2009 survey had more than 1,000 participants - chief audit executives, internal audit directors, and managers from publicly traded, private, government, educational and nonprofit organizations - who hailed from virtually every major business sector, including financial services, insurance, real estate, energy, utilities, manufacturing, distribution, healthcare, technology, biotechnology, hospitality, retail and telecommunications. The participants answered 100 questions in three categories: general technical knowledge; audit process knowledge; and personal skills and capabilities.

  Additional survey findings include:
  --  Enterprise Risk Management - most pressing for hospitality and life
      sciences companies - was among the top-five "need to improve" areas in
      the general technical knowledge category.
  --  For the first time, four fraud-related activities ranked among the key
      areas that needed the most improvement, with healthcare organizations
      expressing the most concern.
  --  When it comes to personal skills, dealing with confrontation - an area
      added to the 2009 survey - ranked the second highest "need to improve"
      area, following the development of board of directors and audit
      committee relationships.

Despite changes in the business environment, some feedback has remained stable during the survey’s three-year history - most notably in the personal skills and capabilities section. Developing other board committee relationships has taken the top spot in the category’s “need to improve” section every year of the Protiviti survey, while presenting (public speaking), developing outside contacts/networking, and developing audit committee relationships have held relatively consistent positions among the section’s top five rankings.

“An internal auditor’s success lies with a commitment to ongoing learning and improvement, along with a deep understanding of the organization’s needs and how those needs can be met through internal audit,” Hirth added. “As a profession, we must continue to enhance our skills in the areas assessed in this survey and educate ourselves on new technologies and competencies that will be required of us in the months and years to come.”

The survey was designed to chart internal auditors’ evolving business priorities and their skill sets. This year’s survey, which launched at the 67th Annual Institute of Internal Auditors’ International Conference, was conducted during the summer of 2008 and captured the opinions of industry-leading professionals through in-person and online surveys. A complimentary copy of Protiviti’s 2009 Internal Audit Capabilities and Needs Survey is available at: www.protiviti.com/go/iacn3.

About Protiviti

Protiviti (www.protiviti.com) is a global business consulting and internal audit firm composed of experts specializing in risk, advisory and transaction services. The firm helps solve problems in finance and transactions, operations, technology, litigation, governance, risk, and compliance. Protiviti’s highly trained, results-oriented professionals provide a unique perspective on a wide range of critical business issues for clients in the Americas, Asia-Pacific, Europe and the Middle East.

Protiviti has more than 60 locations worldwide and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Robert Half International Inc. (NYSE:RHI) . Founded in 1948, Robert Half International is a member of the S&P 500 index.

Protiviti is not a law firm and is not licensed or registered as a public accounting firm. The company does not issue opinions on financial statements or offer attestation services.

Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20090115/AQTH541LOGO
AP Archive: http://photoarchive.ap.org/
PRN Photo Desk, [email protected]

Source: Protiviti

CONTACT: Kathy Keller of Protiviti, +1-650-234-6252,
[email protected]

Web Site: http://www.protiviti.com/

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Diane Mueller

Diane Mueller is a leading cloud technology advocate and is the author of numerous articles and white papers on emerging technology. At ActiveState, she works with enterprise IT and community developers to evangelize the next revolution of cloud computing - private platform-as-a-service. She is instrumental in identifying, building, and positioning ActiveState's Stackato cloud application platform. She has been designing and implementing products and applications embedded into mission critical financial and accounting systems at F500 corporations for over 20 years. Diane Mueller is actively involved in the efforts of OASIS/TOSCA Technical Committee working on Cloud Application Portability, works on the XML Financial Standard, XBRL, and has served on the Board of Directors of XBRL International. She currently works as the ActiveState Cloud Evangelist.

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