Partnering with Audit Clients To Realize Audit Objectives

To ensure realization of corporate objectives including risk optimization, internal audit should be viewed as partners of management rather than as “corporate police”. Fostering good relationship with the audit client and by extension management will help in identifying the real risks facing the business including control weaknesses and business pain points that are preventing management from achieving its objectives. Conventionally, internal auditors deal with activities/issues that will enable management meet financial, regulatory and statutory compliance objectives. However, the new paradigm allows for internal auditors to partner with management (audit client) to realize strategic and business objectives by improving internal control systems, risk management and governance.

Management should see internal audit as strategic partners beyond daily business as usual. Such strategic partnership brings internal audit in the picture of business risks and pain points confronting the management outside other regulatory and statutory issues that fall within the purview of internal audit. Internal audit should be able to proffer recommendations and advisory services that will close those gaps while maintaining its independence.

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