Workforce planning: The internal audit function of 2025

Workforce planning is arguably more important than ever before. Internal audit is going through unprecedented change due to factors such as rapid advances in digital technologies, significant generational shifts in the labour market and constantly evolving skills requirements. CAEs must therefore be ready to embrace change and create a plan now, if they are to be fully prepared for the workforce of the future.

Why plan for the future?

Quite simply, workforce planning enables internal audit to prepare for its future staffing needs so that it can meet its long-term objectives.  It allows CAEs to bridge the gap between today’s and tomorrow’s working environment through assessing current skills needs and forecasting future workforce requirements to identify what kind of talent is needed to ensure the function’s ongoing success.

The talent requirement should be linked to internal audit’s strategic plan, i.e. the talent requirement needs to look three to five years ahead. The knowledge and skills required will be linked to the internal audit plan so as to provide the internal audit function with the resources necessary to deliver the assurance sought by the board and audit committee.

By gaining a clearer understanding of both their existing and future workforce, internal audit departments can better compete in the war for talent, embrace technological change, anticipate potential skills shortages, identify risk before it impacts on business strategies, and ensure the function is moving in the right direction.

The internal audit function of 2025

Nobody can predict exactly what the internal audit function will look like five to ten years from now, however an important point to remember is that the future of work is emerging right now, with shifting demographics, changing workforce models and technological innovation already shaping the future workforce.  

At an organisational level, this means companies need to be thinking…