Delivering basic value

It may sound like a strange headline, but providing assurance during turbulent times that the gears are turning and the nuts are tight can be highly valued by a board in crisis management mode. Be it a pandemic, recession, natural disaster, terrorism, or a data breach.

2020 is panning out to be a year in which crises collide. A year thus far dominated by climate change, coronavirus, social unrest, and political instability, with recession looming just around the corner

Audit leaders need to think strategically about value as it is a balancing act between compliance, risk-based and advisory activities. It will be a unique formula as there is no standard framework.

Thought leadership is often future thinking, challenging perceptions and broadening horizons – this is the very opposite. Grab a coffee and take a few moments to think about how your internal audit activity can be a calm harbour for your board and audit committee chair.

Value is about perceived worth and usefulness; often in the context of internal audit, added value implies cost saving calculations or frauds prevented/detected. Numerical value in other words.

Crises, particularly recessions, put intense focus on what is important and what is not. In some sectors, financial services and public sector, internal audit is a mandatory requirement; where it is not, there is a real imperative for internal auditors at all levels to demonstrate their professional value. 


When crisis strikes, the resilience planning takes effect. Internal auditors like every other employee do whatever is necessary to secure assets including buildings, cash and data.

Once the metaphorical dust settles, chief audit executives (CAEs) need to quickly assess the assurance that will be of value and deliver it. It is essential to talk to the audit committee chair about this, their perspective will be instrumental…