This week marks the fifth anniversary of this blog, which I launched only days after joining The IIA’s Global Headquarters as president and CEO. It was a time of huge challenges amid the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. The IIA, subject to the same pressures as our members, was exploring how to navigate the financial challenges we faced. And, while I acknowledged the obstacles ahead in that first blog, even then I could see potential and opportunity — for our members, for our global association, and for the internal audit profession as a whole.
The storm clouds were merely a passing front.
As I reflect upon the past five years and the topics we’ve covered in this blog, it becomes clear to me that this has been an era of unprecedented progress for internal audit. We emerged from the economic crisis with our resources and talent intact, and we demonstrated our agility as a profession by realigning coverage to address organizational needs, such as cost reduction and containment. We also witnessed a continued shift in internal audit’s reporting relationship from the chief financial officer to the CEO, and we followed the risks as they led us into a tsunami of regulatory compliance requirements.
Since 2009, I’ve exhorted, cajoled, proposed, celebrated, and shouted the praises of the profession in 134 blog posts — 135 counting this one. It has been gratifying to use this forum to address some of the common concerns facing internal auditors around the world and to engage in a dialogue with so many of you who have posted your comments on this site.
Through this blog, I’ve discussed some of internal auditors’ most pressing challenges (“Internal Audit Solutions for Tough Times,” August 2009). I’ve shared lessons learned (“Ten Things Not to Say in an Internal Audit Report," October 2011) and
“Small Rocks Can Cause the Biggest Waves,” May 2013). I’ve offered predictions for the future of the profession (“2014: Where Will Internal Audit Be Focused?”, December 2013), and I’ve confronted controversial subjects (“Internal Audit Licensing: Be Careful What You Wish For,” January 2014).
At times, this blog has even sparked healthy debate among practitioners around the globe — a prime example being the popular
“Internal Audit: Is It a Career or a Career ‘Stepping-Stone’?” (June 2012).
When I began blogging, I had no idea I would continue writing about topics of interest to internal auditors for this long, nor did I think the blog itself would be so well received. Last year, more than 40,000 visitors viewed my blog entries more than 200,000 times! The response has been so positive that I recently authored a book,
Lessons Learned on the Audit Trail, which will be available from The IIA Bookstore in the coming months.
So what’s ahead? Looking forward, I plan to continue sharing my experiences, insight, and personal perspective with you as we confront new and existing hurdles and opportunities, including:
- Identifying and addressing emerging risks.
- Providing audit coverage in today’s heightened regulatory environment.
- Maintaining alignment with stakeholder expectations.
- Securing — and retaining — a seat at the table.
- Becoming innovative in the design and delivery of internal audit services.
With each challenge and opportunity comes the promise for even greater accomplishments in a profession that continues to mature and evolve.
As always, I invite your comments and for you to share your thoughts on the issues you feel are crucial to the internal audit profession and what may lie ahead.