By Neil Amato
Internal pressure is a pervasive threat to the objectivity inherent in internal audit, according to new research.
More than half of North American chief audit executives (CAEs) surveyed said they had been directed to omit or modify an important audit finding at least once, and 49% said they had been directed not to perform audit work in high-risk areas. That data comes from a report by The Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) Research Foundation and is based on a survey of 494 CAEs and some follow-up interviews.
Sometimes, the threats are clear and easy to understand; some CAEs were told they would be fired. Other times, the pressure was more subtle; some CAEs reported budget cuts or a decline in internal audit staffing that they perceived as tacit pressure.
This article originally appeared in the March edition of CGMA Magazine.