Consultancy advice: Practical actions for CAEs

Internal auditors are trusted advisors. That has been the marketing message of the profession for many years and with it the shackles of the policeman image have largely beaten a retreat. Internal auditors provide both assurance and consultancy advice in accordance with the IIA Standards and as such the chief audit executive (CAE) is part of a diverse, highly competitive consultancy market.

In this article, we look at the importance of consultancy for internal audit and the practical actions CAEs can take to enhance their consultancy activities. Click here to jump ahead to the actions.

Few CAEs provide no advice to their senior management and executives.

But do you think of yourself as part of this market?

Do you know how much your organisation spent last year on external consultancy advice and support? What is the ratio of that consultancy spend to your internal audit budget?

The consulting industry in the UK is worth over £11bn, according to the UK Management Consultancies Association’s (MCA) 2020 annual report, with consistent year on year growth achieved over many years. In 2019 alone, the consulting industry enjoyed 7% growth as organisations across all sectors prepared for Brexit.

MCA reports that the financial services sector accounts for approximately a third of consultancy income. Of that, roughly a quarter comes from the public sector, with notable share in the private sector from organisations in retail and leisure, industrial businesses and energy and resources. 

Is it possible that some of the growth in the consultancy market has come at the expense of using internal audit?

How might this impact your internal audit budget as cost pressures continue to squeeze?

What is the risk?

The mission for internal audit is to enhance and protect organisational value by providing risk-based and objective assurance, advice and insight –…