A new year brings a renewed focus. What strategic priorities have you set for 2016?
According to a recent report from the IIA, one major priority for internal auditors should be within skills development. Developing the right talent pool for internal audit is a major challenge, and keeping and retaining that talent is the next challenge.
A skills shortage is growing within internal audit due to the increased complexity of today’s regulatory environment, emerging cybersecurity risks, and the focus to put more effective risk-based assurance and advisory services into place.
It is no longer effective to rely on the traditional skill set of accounting and finance. Skill development needs to occur within broader areas such as critical thinking, communication and business acumen.
But what are the top five areas that stand out as where skills are lacking the most?
- Quality controls
- Data mining and analytics
- Cybersecurity and privacy
- Forensics and investigations
It is no surprise that technology and IT form the bulk of the skill set of effective internal audit functions of the future. The risks stemming from these issues continue to stand out as the major focus of financial sector firms today. Quality controls need to exist within these key risk types, and data analytics should implemented to advance the efficiency and effectiveness of the function.
As we enter the new year, start by looking into these issues and hearing what your peers are doing to combat these challenges and build effective audit functions. The Internal Audit for Financial Institutions conference presents case studies from leaders within the sector and will provide you with an opportunity to start 2016 with strong priorities and solutions.