The importance of Quality Assurance and Improvement Programmes (QAIPs)

Internal auditors frequently highlight control weaknesses and gaps in efficiency and effectiveness within organisations. But what measures are in place to ensure value within our own internal audit function?

In this short article we highlight five reasons why you should invest your resource into a Quality Assurance and Improvement Programme (QAIP). 

What is a QAIP?

A QAIP is a structured way to assess the efficiency and effectiveness of your internal audit function. It is the framework from which to create an action plan and demonstrate continuous improvement.

It is an ongoing internal programme validated by external assessment every five years.

Done well it can enhance the value of internal audit’s services and reputation.

Five reasons to have a QAIP

Here are five reasons to have a QAIP that supports the challenges facing audit leaders today.

1) Audit Committee Partnership

At a basic level, audit leaders must communicate the results of their QAIP to senior management, audit committee and the board. They are also encouraged to obtain board/audit committee oversight of their QAIP.

Yet a QAIP brings so much more to the relationship with the audit committee (AC). It has a comprehensive structure to address all aspects of internal audit from strategy to methodology.

The structure makes it easy for audit leaders to engage (or educate) AC members on all that internal audit can offer rather than the elements they have experienced in the past or the current structure and approach of the function.

It is an opportunity to help the AC understand the:

  • budget needs of internal audit
  • full range of skills capabilities
  • detail of resource challenges
  • areas where assurance may be compromised or enhanced by co-sourcing
  • benefit of investing in data analytics, and
  • impact of a restructuring programme on the assurance map.

The QAIP enables audit leaders to identify…