​​​IPPF Update Clears the Smudges on the Window Looking Into the World of Internal Auditing​

Internal Auditor's first winning scholarship essay examines The IIA's revised practice framework.

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Hunter Martin

In 2015, the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) proposed a revision of its International Professional Practice Framework (IPPF), a written substructure that brings body, cohesion, and guidance to the profession of internal auditing (IIA, 2015, par. 2). ​The update comes in response to the shifting “risk landscape” in which internal auditors perform (Seago, 2015, par. 6), and the IIA’s desire “to remain relevant as a profession,” (par. 7). The new IPPF contains dozens of alterations to the 1999 version (par. 6), many of which are linguistic in nature and which modernize the diction (Chambers, 2016, par. 5).  Notable changes include the additions of a succinct but inclusive mission statement and a list of Core Principles (IIA, 2015, par. 4). Together, these key changes serve as “window washers,” helping to wipe away smudges and streaks on the glass looking into the world of internal auditing so that outsiders have a clearer understanding of the profession.

The new IPPF Mission Statement seeks to concisely inform stakeholders of the goal of internal audit and acts as a springboard for the remainder of the IPPF’s various components and ideals (Seago, 2015, par. 4). For similar purposes, the new IPPF introduces a set of Core Principles for the Professional Practice of Internal Auditing, which now provide clearer foundations for the components listed under the Mandatory Guidance section (Seago, 2015, par. 10). Many of the proposed modifications to th​e Standards pertain to alignment with these Principles (Chambers, 2016, par. 9).  The transparency gained from the Mission Statement and Principles provide clarity and understanding to formerly opaque areas in the role of internal auditors. Debi Roth, an IIA director, says that even in the face of externally-positioned people not reading the IPPF, “The Principles and the Mission are an easy way to communicate with stakeholders, in language they will understand, exactly what internal audit seeks to accomplish” (Seago, 2015, par. 15).

Other crucial changes to the IPPF include two proposed​​ standards: one that speaks to objectivity issues arising from auditors doing assurance work where they also consulted and another to prevent potential independence and objectivity problems for CAE’s working both inside and outside the internal auditing department (Chambers, 2016, par. 11). The renaming (Seago, 2015, par. 9) and restructuring of the “Recommended Guidance” section, such as the removal of Position Papers from the IPPF (par. 20), will bring further distinction to the internal auditing practice. Just as these changes help people outside of internal auditing develop clearer sight into internal auditing, the changes will also give internal auditors a purer understanding of their own role by securing a clearer picture to the outside and the dividing lines separating internal audit from other company functions. Richard Chambers, President and CEO of The IIA, concludes, “The enhancements to the IPPF are designed to strengthen internal audit’s position as an invaluable partner in business success” (Seago, 2015, par. 23).


Works Cited

Chambers, Richard. (2016). Proposed changes to IIA Standards will raise the bar again. Internal Auditor. Retrieved from https://iaonline.theiia.org/blogs/chambers/2016/Pages/Proposed-Changes-to-IIA-Standards-Will-Raise-the-Bar-Again.aspx.

IIA introduces updated​ guidance framework: Enhanced IPPF articulates mission statement, Core Principles for practitioners. (2015). na.theiia.org. Retrieved from https://na.theiia.org/news/Pages/IIA-Introduces-Updated-Guidance-Framework.aspx.

Seago, Jane. (2015). A new framework for a new age: The updated IPPF helps guide auditors through change and ever-growing challenges. Internal Auditor. Retrieved from https://iaonline.theiia.org/2015/a-new-framework-for-a-new-age.

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