2016 study on the state of the internal audit profession

Learn about the linkage between effective internal audit leadership and the value delivered by internal audit functions. Strong internal audit leadership can be a key lever to drive improved stakeholder alignment and increased value contribution.

PwC’s 2016 State of the Internal Audit Profession study reveals that CEOs are becoming increasingly concerned about a wide range of risks, including top threats of overregulation and geopolitical uncertainty.

Key findings:

  • 96 per cent of very effective leaders are confident in preserving a vision for the function, even during periods of significant change
  • 54 per cent say internal audit adds significant value
  • 28 per cent rate the internal audit leader as very effective
  • 16 per cent see the internal audit function as a trusted advisor
  • 65 per cent responded that internal audit performs well overall
  • 25 per cent see the internal audit function as a problem solver
  • three-year trend data shows that stakeholder perception of internal audit’s value is declining and performance is flat
  • 71 per cent indicate their organization manages risk well
  • the five intangible characteristics exhibited by the most effective internal audit leaders are:
    • vision
    • talent
    • position
    • communication
    • business alignment
  • common traits among very effective leaders indicate that the majority have a strategic plan in place, as they:
    • co-source to supplement internal talent
    • have exceptional business acumen and clearly articulate insights on strategic risks
    • communicate exceptionally well
    • have internal audit functions that perform well at aligning the scope and audit plan with the strategic direction of the business