The Institute of Internal Auditors has refreshed its online Audit Executive Center with new resources for chief audit executives at internal audit departments.

Along with a variety of new content, including videos and guidance for chief audit executives, senior management and staff members, the AEC now offers an Audit Intelligence Suite, which provides benchmarking reports to measure the performance of the audit function, skills assessments to determine the proficiency of audit team members, and surveys to elicit feedback from stakeholders. In addition, the IIA has developed a Small Audit Function Resource Exchange for smaller audit departments.

Institute of Internal Auditors headquarters in Florida
Institute of Internal Auditors headquarters in Florida Courtesy of the IIA

The IIA originally launched the Audit Executive Center in 2010. “We provide tools, resources and thought leadership geared at the chief audit executive to help them be more effective in their leadership roles in organizations,” said IIA vice president of professional and stakeholder relations Jim Pelletier. “We felt it was time to make some improvements to the site to be much more content focused. As the role of the chief audit executive has evolved and as internal audit is becoming involved in more and more strategic risks beyond the traditional accounting and financial type risks, the demand for them to have more knowledge and resources at their fingertips has increased. We’re looking to meet that need by providing them with the tools and resources to help them to do better in their jobs.”

The new website is much more content focused, he noted. “Instead of the chief audit executives having to come and search the site for information, we’re pushing out the information to them via the website,” said Pelletier. “We’ve also implemented a couple of new things with this refresh. One is a Small Audit Resource Exchange, where we’ve developed resources for audit shops that have limited size, but who still deal with the same risks medium and large shops might deal with.”

The Audit Committee Resource Exchange includes thought leadership and tools for the audit committee and board members.

The new Audit Intelligence Suite offers an opportunity for internal audit departments to benchmark themselves against other departments in their industry, size and revenue range.

“One component of the suite is the benchmarking report,” said Pelletier. “We’ve added in a skills assessment where chief audit executives can evaluate the skills of their team against the IIA’s global competency framework. The third component is a survey tool, surveying our key stakeholders, typically management and the audit committee, to get their feedback on the performance of the internal audit function. Those three components together would give the chief audit executive the intelligence they need to most effectively run the internal audit function.”

The Audit Executive Center has a presence not only online, but during IIA conferences too. “We also do events at the IIA’s conferences, the biggest being the IIA’s General Audit Management Conference,” said Pelletier. “That conference is geared toward leaders in the profession. The AEC holds a forum prior to the conference for our members. That’s one of our major networking and get-together events for the chief audit executive.”

The Small Audit Function Resource Exchange is aimed at audit departments at smaller companies.

“You’ve got everything from Fortune 500 companies that may have 150 to 200 auditors within their audit department down to some organizations that have an individual auditor, or maybe just two and three,” said Pelletier. “They’re dealing with the same types of risks that the major corporations might be dealing with, but they’re doing so with very limited resources, so we’re trying to develop tools and resources to help them efficiently address these types of risks, given the situation they’re in with limited resources.”

The goal of the AEC is to bring chief audit executives together to discuss what works well for them. “One way we’re doing that is through virtual roundtables,” said Pelletier. “We want to get chief audit executives that have similar issues they’re dealing with, or come from similar companies, and get them together to be able to talk to each other and share ideas. “We don’t want to be the ones always driving the conversation. We want the chief audit executives to be driving the conversation and the IIA responding to make sure they have the tools and resources to be effective.”

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Michael Cohn

Michael Cohn

Michael Cohn, editor-in-chief of AccountingToday.com, has been covering business and technology for a variety of publications since 1985.