According to the findings from Protiviti’s 2020 Next Generation Internal Audit Survey, chief audit executives (CAEs) and internal audit leaders report their next-generation competency levels in three vital areas – governance, methodology and enabling technology – to be remarkably low. There is a danger that, if increasing these competencies and transforming the audit process is not viewed as a priority by internal audit leaders and brought in alignment with the evolving expectations of stakeholders, the internal audit function will begin to lose relevance and cede its responsibilities to other sources of assurance.

The study, titled “Exploring the Next Generation of Internal Auditing,” surveyed nearly 780 CAEs and internal audit leaders across industries to uncover their priorities when it comes to next-generation auditing skills. The study was completed in the first quarter of 2020 and was based on a survey conducted in the fourth quarter of 2019, before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In what should be a red flag for CAEs and audit committees, enabling technology received some of the lowest competency marks in the entire survey, based on the participants’ self-assessments (rated on a 1 to 5 scale, with 5 being highest).

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