We annually observe Internal Audit Awareness Month in May. If you’re in the profession, this is a great opportunity for you to promote your role to your stakeholders. If you aren’t an auditor but are knowledgeable in the domain, gather your colleagues and neighbors to educate them on the importance of internal audits and bust the myths surrounding them. More so, if you don’t know what internal audits are, this educational month will teach you all there is to know. An internal auditor acts as the trusted advisor to any institute or organization by keeping track of internal functioning, reviewing compliance guidelines as well as ensuring they are met, and assessing imminent risks to the business. This is only the summary! Dive in to learn more.
History of Internal Audit Awareness Month
While the process of internal auditing has been in practice since after World War II, it wasn’t a full-fledged profession back then. The technique has its roots in public accounting jobs and management consulting, which were evolving at the time. Lawrence Sawyer conceived internal auditing, as we know it today. He talked about it in his book “Internal Auditing: The Practice of Modern Internal Auditing.” Therefore, he is also referred to as ‘the father of modern internal auditing.’
Closer to the present, the Institute of Internal Auditors (I.I.A.) created the awareness month in the 1990s. They created it with the intention of spreading awareness about the value of internal auditing processes, both at an organizational level and on a personal level.
By the sound of it, the word ‘audit’ isn’t the most exciting topic for people outside the industry. But there’s no denying the fact that it’s what keeps our organizations’ prospects alive and operational efficacy in place. Without the help and support of internal auditors, a company might run amok. Internal auditors are the people who discover the risks on behalf of an organization and also the defense experts. When the time of need arrives, internal auditors always keep the organization’s best interests in mind, irrespective of which way the wind is blowing. Having said as much, we think internal auditors sure deserve ample appreciation and credit for all that they do.
Internal audits are often misunderstood and connected to financial or business analyses, but they are different. Owing to this assumption, many shy away from this profession. Therefore, awareness on the topic is of the utmost importance.
Internal Audit Awareness Month timeline
The Institute of Internal Auditors is set up in the United States.
The IIA Chairman, Anthony J. Ridley, chooses ‘Internal Auditing: A Profession for the 21st Century’ as the board’s theme.
The U.S. implements the Sarbanes–Oxley Act to enhance the exposure and value of internal auditors.
The I.I.A. issues professional guidance to build a strategy for internal audits as a practice guide called “Developing the Internal Audit Strategic Plan.”
Internal Audit Awareness Month FAQs
What does an internal auditor do?
Of the many roles that internal audits play in the growth of a firm, a few are risk mitigation, enhancing operational efficiency, and meeting compliance requirements.
What are the four types of audits?
Unqualified opinion, qualified opinion, adverse opinion, and a disclaimer of opinion.
What is the difference between internal and external audits?
Internal audits primarily focus on non-financial information, such as an organization’s governance, internal control, and risk areas. External auditors ensure the accuracy of the firm’s business accounts and financial condition or, sometimes, if the firm complies with necessary regulations and laws.
How to Observe Internal Audit Awareness Month
Show your appreciation
Internal auditors don’t always receive recognition for the work they do. But you can change that this month. If you know any internal auditors, show them your appreciation.
Rebrand your department
What makes any organization stand out? Branding! Since your job is to give out advice and mitigate risks, you could consider naming your department ‘Risk Control Advisory’ or something along that line. This would make you more approachable.
As the name suggests, this month aims to spread awareness about the importance of internal auditing. As most people are oblivious to what audits are, you could host a session or workshop or even a social media campaign to let people know more about the profession and its significance.
5 Facts You Didn’t Know About Internal Audits
It’s more than just audits
Over 25% of audit plans revolve around putting new regulations to effect, risk management, employee training, streamlining processes, and so on.
They work across various organizational levels
The audit team isn’t as closed-off as you might think — their job requires them to work across the organization at different levels, from driving sales to advising the board on how to assess risks.
Math pro? Not required!
It’s a myth that auditors have to be great at mathematics.
Auditing isn’t accounting alone
Most people relate auditing to accounting when the truth is most auditors specialize in statistics, I.T., and data analytics.
Not a ‘police function’
Auditors aren’t after you or they don’t exist to police you — their job is to verify your work to protect you and the organization, when or if the need ever arises.
Why Internal Audit Awareness Month is Important
It recognizes the profession
The month helps us see the internal audit department as an operational business unit and gives the profession the credit it deserves. It is also a time for us to educate ourselves about internal auditing.
Audits are vitally important
Most organizations have a high chance of crumbling without their internal auditors. This month is a way of acknowledging the value that the internal audit division has.
A month of reflection
Whether we’re in the profession or not, this month gives us all an opportunity to reflect on our understanding of internal audits and career prospects in this line. It’s time we consult someone in the profession or maybe just read more on this and broaden our horizons.
Internal Audit Awareness Month dates