2024 Focus on the Future Report: Widening Risk Exposure Gap Demands Internal Audit Transformation

2024 Focus on the Future Report: Widening Risk Exposure Gap Demands Internal Audit Transformation
  • Top-ranked risks for 2024

  • Top areas of expected audit coverage

  • Talent and budget forecasts

  • Forward-thinking auditor tips and transformation opportunities

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Organizational capacity to manage risk is not keeping pace with today’s chaotic risk environment, creating a growing gap between risk management capacity and the fast-evolving landscape of risk demands. 

Internal audit has a critical role to play in helping organizations close this risk exposure gap. And yet, AuditBoard’s 2024 Focus on the Future survey of more than 450 internal audit leaders signals that auditors may be underestimating key risks and misaligning audit efforts. Survey results also suggest internal audit leaders may be maintaining overly optimistic expectations for budgets and staffing, and missing important opportunities in strategic planning and risk monitoring. 

Some internal audit leaders are also delaying crucial transformation efforts and technology investments in generative artificial intelligence (AI) and automation: 75% have yet to implement generative AI in internal audit, only 40% have a clear understanding of how AI is used in their organizations, and as few as 25% have defined the risks of or created guidelines for the use of AI.

These uncertain times require clear-eyed assessment and transformative action from internal audit. Authored by Richard Chambers, Senior Internal Audit Advisor at AuditBoard and former CEO and President of The Institute of Internal Auditors, the 2024 Focus on the Future: Widening Risk Exposure Gap Demands Internal Audit Transformation looks at current trends with a view on helping the profession better understand and manage today’s unprecedented risk landscape. Download the full report for key takeaways on internal audit leaders’:

  • Top-ranked risks for 2024 such as cybersecurity, changing economic conditions, ability to attract and retain talent, regulatory and legislative changes, and more. 
  • Top areas of expected audit coverage, including focus areas most commonly added or removed from audit plans — and potential misalignment between audit effort and risk importance in critical areas. 
  • Talent and budget forecasts that signal a general optimism at odds with continuing macroeconomic uncertainty, recessionary fears, and talent shortages.
  • Forward-thinking auditor tips and transformation opportunities for enhancing risk identification and continuous monitoring, strategic planning, talent management, stakeholder communications, cross-functional collaboration, use/governance of AI and other enabling technologies, and more.  *

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