Is your assurance gap acceptable?

Creating the ‘annual’ internal audit plan is not straightforward. The need to do more with less, to mitigate against a skills gap, balance the expectations of regulators, board and management, and all against a backdrop of a VUCA environment.

More often than not, there will be a list of audits that cannot be resourced. Unless of course you have a Mary Poppins style budget bag! This list is commonly referred to as an assurance gap.

In this article, we question whether an assurance gap is an acceptable part of risk-based internal auditing and good corporate governance as the Audit and Assurance Policy takes shape.

Perspective is everything

When you look at the cover image above, do you see a gap in a bridge or a bike crossing a river?

A gap is a matter of perspective.

Defying this gap, is Eddie Kidd OBE, motorcycle stunt performer and England’s answer to the famous Evel Knievel. Jumping into the record books in 1978 after clearing 14 double decker buses, Kidd had an injury free career as a performer and stunt double including for three James Bond movies.

Risk appetite is key.

In 1996, having uncharacteristically partied the night before and ignoring his own safety concerns, Kidd performed a relatively small jump with a rare uphill landing. He was knocked unconscious on landing due to the angle of the bike and out of control plummeted over a steep bank. Kidd survived but with life changing injuries including paralysis and brain damage.

What type of CAE are you?

Imagine you have to get assurance across the divide to the audit committee. Do you accept the gap – the lack of resource, the time constraints, the skills issue? Or do you find a way. Remember the Audit and Assurance Policy (AAP) is a public…