How Organizations globally are responding to Covid-19

A Global Knowledge Brief – Survey results from internal auditors in 95 countries – Part 1

The impacts of COVID-19 have forced organizations around the world to seek answers to questions they may never have previously imagined. Challenges and opportunities presented by the pandemic require all of the key partners in organizational governance — the governing body, management and risk management, internal audit, and external providers of assurance — to collaborate intelligently, not only to maintain routine operational processes under radically altered circumstances, but to imagine new ways to be resilient and successful.

Thanks to the support of IIA affiliates around the world, this new survey of 1,341 internal auditors from 95 countries provides a global look at how organizations are striving to navigate the turmoil precipitated by the crisis. Convergence across various disciplines evident within organizations today is creating opportunities for internal audit to strategically partner with management and the governing body, especially with committees of the board. Internal audit offers unique skills and perspectives to analyze control environments and offer solutions involving substantial issues, including governance over new technology, succession planning, business continuity, liquidity reserves, disclosures, supply chains, human capital, stress testing, and fraud, to name a few. Internal audit also can identify and promote new protocols required for today’s virtual workforce and global economy.

COVID-19 presents the most rigorous test of organizational continuity and sustainability in our living memory. By identifying changes to the risk landscape and the need for corresponding changes to risk responses, internal audit can exhibit leadership that supports the organization’s efforts to move forward. Internal auditors also can bring new value to their organizations by weighing how the pandemic is affecting the organization’s operating model, demonstrating how audit insights can help, and providing assurance over strategies to remain relevant.