For several years, SkX Protiviti has described the “future auditor” as a chief audit executive (CAE) who takes definitive steps toward making The Institute of Internal Auditors’ vision of “an independent, objective assurance and consulting activity that adds value and improves an organization’s operations” a reality.

The future is fast arriving with digital technologies unleashing a tsunami of opportunity and disruption that no one can ignore, particularly internal audit. As organizations reinvent customer interactions, digitize products and services, and transform their business models, internal audit must undertake a continuous journey of transformation along the path of innovation. Among the lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic is the vital importance of digital maturity to sustaining competitiveness. Digital leaders have demonstrated far greater resilience and agility in keeping employees engaged and maintaining connectivity with customers and suppliers than digital laggards. This is not an environment in which a CAE should be left behind.

That is why CAEs are rethinking how their functions plan, execute and deliver results to increase the value contributed to the companies they serve. Internal audit teams are recounting how they are adopting more agile practices, engaging the business earlier in the audit process, and becoming more data- and technology-enabled to provide value-added insights and recommendations more efficiently and consistently.

This issue offers a compendium of some of the best practices obtained from mining the narratives describing the respective journeys of these internal audit functions, under the direction of their forward-thinking CAEs of their
forward-thinking CAEs.

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