The internal audit function has become crucial to helping companies cope with the economic crisis and complex regulatory requirements, according to a new guidebook.

To help internal auditors adapt to the pressures of the current economic climate, business consulting and internal audit firm Protiviti has released the second edition of its “Guide to Internal Audit: Frequently Asked Questions about Developing and Maintaining an Effective Internal Audit Function.”

The 80-page resource guide addresses the Security and Exchange Commission’s interpretive guidance on Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board’s Auditing Standard No. 5, among other topics.

The guide provides answers to 90 frequently asked questions, with topics ranging from building an internal audit function to managing and improving that function as an organization grows. Most of the new questions focus on the ever-expanding role of internal audit functions, such as what types of IT audit skills should be included in an internal audit department, and how can internal audit assist in developing and maintaining an effective corporate governance environment.

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