Unlocking the power of internal audit – Canadian Government Executive

NEWS

SEARCH

AccountabilityAuditManagement
May 12, 2014

Unlocking the power of internal audit

Recent research by the Institute of Internal Auditors Canada aims to dispel some of the myths about internal audit and provide government executives, audit committees and chief audit executives with strategies to unlock the power of internal audit and to realize sustained value for public organizations and taxpayers.

The research demonstrates that the value of internal audit to senior executives is like a hidden gem – not always realized for the asset that it is.

The research, which will be released in the Fall of 2014 at the IIA Canada’s national conference in Ottawa, maintains that there are three separate, but overlapping value propositions for the function in a public sector context:

• Internal audit as protector: Internal audit provides the deputy head and audit committees with assurance and oversight. That means comfort that the organization’s systems, practices and controls are working as intended. When controls are failing, or are at risk of failing, internal audit provides trustworthy and reliable information in support of improvements. By acting as a trusted, “early warning system,” internal audit helps to safeguard not only physical and financial assets, but also public sector reputations and the taxpayers’ confidence.

• Internal audit as educator: Internal audit maintains expertise in systems of management control, risk management and governance, all of which are core responsibilities of the deputy head and are critical to good public administration. Internal audit has in-depth knowledge of best practices and expectations in these areas and, thanks to its “birds-eye-view” of the organization, gathers insight on how well these systems are working. If properly harnessed, this insight can be invaluable to officials. Not only does it assist executives in better understanding their organization’s strengths, weaknesses and emerging or systemic risks, but it also offers them the ability to identify opportunities for increased effectiveness, efficiency and innovation – insight that is in high demand in the current context.

• Internal audit as trusted advisor: While the provision of assurance is the bread and butter of internal auditors, their value as advisors to the deputy should not be overlooked. Few other functions in government have the organizational placement, unfettered access and objectivity that are enjoyed by internal audit. These qualities translate to one word: trust. Internal audit standards explicitly position the function as both an assurance and a consulting function. Having a trusted, in-house and objective consultant on issues of management and control provides deputies and senior executives with honest, reliable and relevant advice as they deal with the ever-increasing pace of change in government operations.

Oversight. Insight. Foresight. These are but three of the strategic outcomes to which internal audit can contribute. But is the function fully realizing this potential value? Preliminary research results indicate that more work needs to be done. Like other parts of the government, internal audit functions face operational and strategic challenges to realizing full value.

The authors of this paper maintain that these challenges can and must be overcome. By engaging the internal audit community and key stakeholders across the federal and provincial sectors, the authors will identify simple and high-value strategies to help unlock the power of the internal audit function.

 

SIDEBAR
The results of this research, including strategies for senior executives, will be presented at the IIA Canada’s 7th Annual National Conference, in Ottawa on October 5–8, 2014. The conference attracts leaders from across the country and around the world to share insights on internal audit, governance, risk and control. This is the premier event for the internal audit profession in Canada and provides great value to auditors as well audit committee members and other executives. Among the conference streams are leadership and public sector tracks. For more information, please see www.iiacanadanationalconference.com

0 comments

There are no comments for this post yet.

Be the first to comment. Click here.

Accountability
 
A new study from the Conference Board of Canada gives our...
 
In the world that we are living in today, free and...
 
The delivery method developed by Sir Michael Barber, chief adviser to...
 
Rules and accountability are helpful in developing and standardizing processes but...
 
Canadian doctors were told that climate change impacts human health and...
 
Even as talks between the government and federal workers affected problems...
 
The largest effort in 20 years to seek public input on...
 
Ottawa has overhauled the process by which justices are picked for...
 
Please to view this Content. (Not a member? Join Today! )...
 
In this episode, editor-in-chief, Patrice Dutil talks about the need for...
 
As much a 20 per cent of grade seven students in...
 
Please to view this Content. (Not a member? Join Today! )...
 
Upon receiving numerous complaints regarding add-on fees that turn making economy...
 
Are you absolutely clear what the government wants to achieve? Are...
 
Please to view this Content. (Not a member? Join Today! )...
 
Please to view this Content. (Not a member? Join Today! )...
 
Please to view this Content. (Not a member? Join Today! )...
 
Written By Jason McNaught The Public Service Alliance of Canada was...
 
Independence has long been regarded as a cornerstone of the auditing...
 
Canada is a diverse nation, in language, culture, geography, and, ultimately,...
 
Public sector organizations are under increasing pressure to identify all risks...
 
The government of Canada has implemented several measures over the past...
 
Whether at the territorial, provincial or federal government level, internal audit...
 
An organization’s reputation can take years to build but it can...
 
On October 30, Ontario began second reading of the Public Sector...
 
In the well-known children’s story, an Emperor falls victim to the...
 
The Nova Scotia Office of the Ombudsman is a small operation...
 
I think the ombudsman needs to be independent, because without independence...
 
Today’s business environment changes rapidly to adjust to evolving conditions and...
 
The best internal auditors actually are really good managers first. I...
 
The recent controversy about the actions of some staff members in...
 
Most professionals don’t need more than a sentence at a cocktail...
 
Recent research by the Institute of Internal Auditors Canada aims to...
 
When is it that a politician becomes part of the governing...
 
It’s been a busy couple of weeks on the information, privacy...
 
In 1996, a new budget watchdog, the Parliamentary Budget Officer, was...
 
The Ontario government is moving forward with the creation of a...
 
The Office of the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner of Canada (PSIC)...
 
After the Auditor General’s (AG) report was released on April 30,...
 
In the U.K. system, Permanent Secretaries are what we call Deputy...
 
We are living in a period of rapid change and limited...
 
US public sector employees don’t trust their management to do the...
 
The news of Mark Carney’s nomination as the new Governor of...
 
Following Singapore’s independence in 1965, the controversial leadership of Lee Kuan...
 
Over the past few years, the preparation and delivery of the...
 
In healthcare, cost-cutting can result in cutting what is valued most...
 
For over 20 years Colin Bennett has been exploring issues of...
 
Even before controversy shook the organization to its foundation, Ornge was...
 
It will be the largest international multi-sport event ever held on...
 
We’ve all seen the headlines – BC Ferries, Ornge, la Caisse...
 
It can happen, and it’s noteworthy when it does. Government, business...
 
Kevin Page’s mandate as the first Parliamentary Budget Officer comes to...
 
Governments are challenged to meaningfully mitigate the effects of the financial...
 
Canada is facing a huge financial challenge brought on by massive...
 
For the past one hundred years, democratic states have been moving...
 
It’s so much easier and less painful to learn from the...
 
CGE Vol.13 No.7 September 2007 "If the Public Service, as a...
 
When pondering leadership, we immediately think of exercising our influence downward...
 
CGE Vol.13 No.1 January 2007 "How can I be held accountable...
 
CGE Vol.13 No.2 February 2007 Canada’s Performance 2006 is the sixth...
 
CGE Vol.14 No.1 January 2008 The furor over the $300,000 that...
 
CGE Vol.14 No.2 February 2008 Let’s say you’re a senior manager,...
 
CGE Vol.13 No.1 January 2007 Perhaps it’s a legacy of the...
 
The Independent Blue Ribbon Panel on Grants and Contributions called for...
 
Au Canada, le secteur bénévole et à but non lucratif vit...
 
As the global economy struggles to regain some forward momentum, Canadian...
 
This will be a defining budget for Stephen Harper. It will...
 
It is difficult to determine when the debate about the need...
 
For the next few years, the federal government’s overarching agenda will...
 
Much of the current conversation about the federal government’s economic agenda...
 
Bill Greenlaw is the elected president of the Institute for Public...
 
Have you ever asked yourself the question: ‘How would I evaluate...
 
Last fall, Alberta’s Employment and Immigration department posted online the workplace...
 
In 2006 the world was feeling the aftershocks of a number...
 
CGE Vol.13 No.4 April 2007 Robert Parkins, editorial director, met recently...
 
In the past two decades, the nature of the state has...
 
Please to view this Content. (Not a member? Join Today! )...
 
Some title Some author
Some excerpt
 
Some title Some author
Some excerpt
A new study from the Conference Board of Canada gives our...

Member Login

Forgot Password?

Join Us

Password Reset
Please enter your e-mail address. You will receive a new password via e-mail.