The range and type of the internal auditor’s work depend on a number of factors:
To whom the chief audit executive (head of internal audit) reports.
The capability and skills of the internal auditors.
Any legislative or regulatory requirements of internal audit.
But it’s a bit like Forrest Gump when he said “Life is like a box of chocolates—you never know what you’re gonna get.” Internal auditing is a bit like that box of chocolates as the range and quality of the services are variable—and, indeed, often you really don’t know what you’re going to get.
Internal auditing is an evolving profession. It has been around for a very long time, probably since the pharaohs in Egypt. But it wasn’t until 1947—when the foremost professional body for internal auditing, the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA), was formed—that internal auditing was set on its path to emerging as a profession.
Subsequently, professional standards and a code of ethics for internal auditing have been established, and in 1974 professional certification for internal auditing was created, with the designation Certified Internal Auditor. Over that time, the scope of internal auditing has changed significantly.
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