Taking a multidisciplinary approach to internal audit

25 May 2022 Consultancy.eu 2 min. read

Internal auditing is no longer just about oversight but also about providing insight. That’s why auditors need a more holistic mindset and approach, says Daphne Manichand, Associate Director at global business consulting firm Protiviti.

Taking a multidisciplinary mindset and approach to internal audit is becoming more important than ever. “So much is constantly changing: new legislation, fast-changing developments in and outside the organization. Given the increased regulation and developments, it is essential that audit functions work together to maintain their added value,” says Manichand.

At the same time, the Protiviti consultant – who is based in the firm’s Amsterdam office – acknowledges that she sees “many audit teams struggle” with adopting this mindset.

Taking a multidisciplinary approach to internal audit

“Internal auditors tend to focus more on the process, rather than what is happening around them.” The risk? “Assessing the wrong subjects or being unaware of risks that do exist, forgetting current developments and customer-friendliness.”

Contribute to the business

According to Manichand that is why internal auditors need to see themselves more as an advisor. “In that role they can really contribute to the business. For example, by looking back and forward. Is the process flexible and robust enough to absorb future risks?”

Such a holistic audit approach requires an open view and knowledge from multiple sources in- and outside the organization. And off course a box filled with various tooling, like governance, enabling technologies and methodologies.

“In the end innovation is the result of the mindset and behavior of the auditor. Therefore, it is important that there is a culture of innovativeness within the audit function (s). This involves distancing oneself to a certain extent from regular audit methodologies and really looking at what is relevant for the company to be of added value as an audit function.”

Next generation insights

To help audit departments make that shift, Protiviti takes on a role of sparring partner in the process. “We bring insights about the next generation internal audit tools and the way of thinking, helping organizations move forward.”

For Manichand, being able to make an impact at leading organizations is what motivates her most. “It’s very fulfilling when I can contribute to meaningful change.”