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10 Keys to Successful Internal Audit Risk Assessments

Oct 7th 2016
risk assessment

A new survey report delivers insights on how internal audit functions can fine-tune their current risk assessment and audit planning processes, and explores how auditors can better understand and audit the emerging and strategic risks facing their organizations.

The report, Enhancing Risk Assessments & Audit Planning: 10 Key Considerations, was released on Oct. 5 by Wolters Kluwer and TeamMate, an internal audit management system that is part of Wolters Kluwer Tax & Accounting. The backbone of the report are the findings from the 2016 TeamMate Global Audit Technology Survey, which polled nearly 600 global audit leaders last July and August.

“Our intent was to compile useful data on both current and anticipated practices in three related and interdependent audit processes – risk assessment, audit planning, and reporting on these activities to management and the audit committee,” the report states.

Based on the survey results, here are 10 best practices internal audit leaders can use to bolster their risk assessment efforts.

1. Move to a more continuous risk assessment process. Nearly half of the survey respondents indicate they either assess risk on a continual basis or combine an annual risk assessment with some form of continuous risk assessment. Looking at respondents who currently assess risk on either an annual or periodic basis, 56 percent expect to move to a more continuous risk process within the next two years.

2. Address the organization’s strategic risks. A majority of respondents said their risk assessment processes include formally assessing the strategic risks of their organizations. In addition, 70 percent are either highly or reasonably confident that their internal audit staffs would either identify any major changes in the organization’s strategic risk profile or would be informed of any such changes on a timely basis.

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