Internal Audit Quality: Developing a Quality Assurance and Improvement Program


An international perspective on delivering outstanding value by embedding quality into internal audit practices

Internal Audit Quality is an essential resource because organizations increasingly see the value that high-quality internal audit can offer. Organizations across sectors are beginning to recognize how crucial it is to have an excellent internal audit function. Demonstrating that professional standards are met and improving the value that internal audit delivers is now more important than ever.

Internal Audit Quality comprehensively addresses the Institute of Internal Auditors' (IIA) International Standards for the Professional Practice of Internal Auditing. With all eyes on internal audit, you need to understand stakeholder expectations and communicate success measures that demonstrate quality.

The goal of Internal Audit Quality is to assist chief audit executives and internal auditors with embedding quality into all elements of internal audit, from strategic and operational planning down to day-to-day tasks. It provides a framework for developing a Quality Assurance and Improvement Program (QAIP) that simplifies and strengthens the internal assessment process. You will learn how to design internal audit processes to best meet the needs of your organization and to embed performance assessment into daily activities. By creating a system of ongoing quality assurance, you will be able to apply maturity models, balanced scorecards, and other techniques to meet your organization's need for a high-quality internal audit function.

Written by a global expert in audit quality, Internal Audit Quality contains resources for progressively enhancing the quality of internal audit:

  • Techniques for understanding stakeholder expectations of quality and value
  • Better practices and advice from global internal audit leaders
  • Key performance indicators for measuring internal audit's success
  • Processes for conforming with professional standards
  • QAIP hints for embedding quality
  • Quality questions for internal and external quality assessments

Ensure that your internal audit processes are developed in line with the latest professional standards and best practices and that your function exceeds your organization's expectations for quality, performance, and value.

SALLY-ANNE PITT is recognized as a global expert in audit quality. She is the Managing Partner of Pitt Group, a consulting firm specializing in assurance and evaluation services, where her key audit clients include major Australian government departments. Between 2008 and 2012, Sally-Anne oversaw the external quality assessment program for the Institute of Internal Auditors–Australia, and she helped author the IIA's 2012 Practice Guide: Quality Assurance and Improvement Program. Sally-Anne has undertaken in excess of 60 external quality assessments of Australian and global organizations from the public, financial, mining, telecommunications, and not-for-profit sectors.

Preface xiii

Acknowledgments xix


CHAPTER 1 The Various Faces of Internal Audit 3

History 3

The Institute of Internal Auditors 4

Types of Internal Audit Functions 5

Internal Auditing in Different Sectors and Organizations 5

Internal Audit Standards 8

Conclusion 11

References 11

CHAPTER 2 Quality, Performance, and Value 13

Understanding Quality, Performance, and Value 13

Quality Management Systems: Deming, Juran, and TQM 14

Models for Measuring Performance 18

Conclusion 21

References 21


CHAPTER 3 Developing a Quality Framework 25

The Link between Quality, Performance, and Value 25

Drivers of Quality 26

A Structured Approach to Quality 30

Developing Performance Measures for Internal Audit 32

Responsibility for Internal Audit Quality 37

Creating a Quality Assurance and Improvement Program 41

Reporting on Quality 43

Questions about the Quality Framework 44

Conclusion 45

References 45

CHAPTER 4 Internally Assessing Quality 47

Ongoing Internal Monitoring and Maturity Models 47

Processes for Embedding Quality 51

Periodic Internal Assessments: Health Checks 53

Client Satisfaction 56

Benchmarking the Internal Audit Function 57

Questions about Internal Assessments 59

Conclusion 60

References 60

CHAPTER 5 Externally Assessing Quality 61

What Is an External Assessment? 61

Why Have an External Assessment? 62

Types of Assessments 64

Questions about External Assessments 70

Conclusion 71

References 71


CHAPTER 6 Internal Audit Strategy and Planning 75

Strategic Planning as a Key Input of the Internal Audit Function 75

Vision 78

Internal Audit’s Value Proposition 78

Planning to Deliver Value 85

Assessing Risks Associated with the Internal Audit Function 86

Resource Planning 87

Business Continuity Planning 89

Questions about the Internal Audit Function’s Strategy and Planning Processes 90

Conclusion 92

References 92

CHAPTER 7 Areas of Responsibility and Nature of Work 95

Types of Engagements 95

Assurance 97

Consulting 103

Nature of Work 106

Audit Support Activities 117

Questions about the Internal Audit Function’s Areas of Responsibility and Nature of Work 118

Conclusion 120

References 120

CHAPTER 8 Internal Audit Charter 123

Internal Audit Mandate and Purpose 123

Strategic Context 124

Structure and Position 124

Independence 128

Authority 131

Internal Audit Charter 133

Questions about the Quality of the Internal Audit Charter 135

Conclusion 137

References 137


CHAPTER 9 Internal Audit Staffing 141

Overview of the Staffing Element 142

Capability Planning for the Internal Audit Workforce 142

Flexible Work Practices 149

Recruitment and Retention 151

Service Delivery Models 155

Role of the Chief Audit Executive 163

Questions about the Quality of Internal Audit Staffing Practices 165

Conclusion 167

References 168

CHAPTER 10 Managing and Measuring Staff Performance 169

Professional Attributes 169

Performance Management Processes 172

Team Development 174

Individual Professional Development 177

Professional Membership and Involvement 180

Questions about the Quality of Internal Audit Staff Development Processes 180

Conclusion 183

References 184


CHAPTER 11 Internal Audit Professional Practice 187

Elements of Internal Audit Professional Practice 187

Stages in the Internal Audit Process 190

Internal Audit Policies and Procedures 190

Questions about Internal Audit Policies and Procedures 199

Conclusion 200

References 201

CHAPTER 12 Annual Audit Planning 203

Value-Added Planning 203

Applying an Objectives-Based Approach to Audit Planning 204

Understanding the Organization’s Business 204

Applying a Risk-Based Approach to Audit Planning 205

Auditable Areas and the Audit Universe 211

Assurance Mapping 213

Resource Allocation 217

Annual Audit Plan Formats 219

Communication and Approval 220

Questions about Annual Audit Planning 221

Conclusion 223

References 223

CHAPTER 13 Planning the Engagement 225

Purpose of Engagement Planning 225

Client Engagement 227

Objectives, Criteria, and Scope 229

Environmental Scanning 234

Aligning Engagements to Key Risks 234

Methodology 237

Resourcing and Milestones 244

Assessing Risks to the Audit Engagement 245

Approval of the Engagement Plan 246

Questions about Planning the Engagement 247

Conclusion 248

References 248

CHAPTER 14 Performing the Engagement 249

Audit Evidence 249

Interviews 252

Analyzing Information Collected 255

Engagement Findings 257

Efficient Fieldwork 260

Management and Supervision 260

Working Papers 262

Questions about Performing the Engagement 264

Conclusion 265

References 266

CHAPTER 15 Communication and Influence 267

Understanding Stakeholder Needs 267

Communication versus Influence 271

Engagement Communications 276

Follow-Up 288

Communicating the Acceptance of Risk 290

Questions about Communication and Influence 290

Conclusion 293

References 293

CHAPTER 16 Knowledge Management and Marketing 295

Knowledge Management 295

Marketing 298

Questions about Knowledge Management and Marketing 303

Conclusion 304

References 304

CHAPTER 17 Quality and the Small Audit Shop 305

What Is a Small Audit Shop? 305

Delivering Value in a Small Audit Shop 305

Quality Challenges for Small Audit Shops Related to Governance Structures 307

Quality Challenges for Small Audit Shops Related to Staffing 309

Quality Challenges for Small Audit Shops Related to Professional Practices 311

Conclusion 315

References 315

Appendix A International Standards for the Professional Practice of Internal Auditing 317

Appendix B List of Quality Questions 323

Appendix C List of Key Performance Indicators 345

Glossary 351

About the Author 365

Index 367