Indeed, the converging risks of a global pandemic, climate change, economic downturn, isolationism, authoritarianism, and social unrest - to name only the most- prominent concerns - threaten not just profitability but viability, with the potential for crash-landing many an enterprise.
Which leads to the question: In this analogy, is your internal audit group more akin to the passengers at the bar rehashing their ordeal or the flight team collaborating on a safe landing? Are you reporting negative events, or are you driving positive outcomes?
The sudden onset of the global crisis is almost as notable as its severity, as entirely new problems swiftly merged with and amplified already-simmering issues. And while no one is under the illusion that internal audit can solve all the world’s problems, the function nonetheless has a major role to play in helping organizations cope, with one caveat:
In this era of rapid change, internal audit must also change rapidly.
Faced with COVID-19 and its cohorts, internal audit must now report faster, engage with stakeholders more quickly, and find new ways to add value — while simultaneously replacing processes that have historically been manual, ad hoc, and unsustainable. Or, to use our turbulent flight analogy, flight crews are faced with maximizing their skills and talents to ensure passenger safety, while grappling with limited instruments at their disposal and onboard hazards to be quelled. Their task, to say the least, is not easy, and a safe landing is far from certain.
This article is part of the Deloitte Internal Audit report, ‘Soaring through turbulent times’. Please click on the link below.
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