At the ISO 19011:2018 CQI event, Head of Quality Assurance Kate Armitage shared challenges internal auditors have when trying to get project buy in from their leadership teams.
Kate shared insights from a survey of 200+ internal auditors. Some weren't great:
- “Leadership aren’t engaged. They do it because they have to, not because they see the cost-saving potential.”
- “It brings little empirical value to the leadership role and they feel like their time is better spent elsewhere.”
- “Leadership see audits as a necessary overhead, rather than a cost-saver.”
- “We’re only consulted when something goes wrong – we’re still a bolt-on at the end of a project, rather than integrated into the business processes.”
- “Leadership only want a certificate on the wall.”
- “It’s too easy for leadership to have an “over to you” attitude.”
So how does an internal auditor get leadership attention?
Here are three ways to demonstrate how internal audits add value to the organisation.
#1 Identify competitive advantage
Is something working really well in your organisation? Perhaps you have a 99.99% on time in full delivery rate or a highly innovative environmental management strategy.
Internal auditors can identify these strengths and communicate them to the rest of the business - helping the company establish competitive advantage.
#2 Identify improvement opportunities
Internal auditing gets a unique view of all areas of the business and how the processes fit together across various departments. By identifying weaknesses in high-risk areas, internal auditors prevent costly mistakes and reputation damage.
#3 Influence core business metrics
Internal auditors who keep track of the core business metrics - efficiency, risks, waste, profitability etc. for leadership to view on a live interactive dashboard can easily demonstrate how they are influencing the business over a period of time. From this dashboard, leadership can drill down into trends, performance, and how the internal audit program is influencing the core business.
What to do now:
If you need to demonstrate value, get buy in to grow your team or want to invest in an integrated audit & business management system then try our interactive auditing return on investment calculator. Once you fill in the details, you'll get a customised report sent direct to your inbox.