The past year has seen internal audit staffing and budgets continue their recovery to pre-pandemic levels as organizations contend with an increasingly broad risk landscape, according to new research from the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA).
IIA’s 2023 North American Pulse of Internal Audit survey found that technology was a primary driver of risk, including cybersecurity, cited by 78% of the 550+ internal audit leaders surveyed, and IT, which 57% said was a high/very high risk to their organization.
“We consistently hear from our members that technology is the number one driver of risk in today’s increasingly complex business landscape, across organizations of all shapes and sizes,” the organization’s president and CEO, Anthony Pugliese, said in a news release. “Modern business is more technology-reliant than at any point in history. Along with the opportunities that accompany rapid growth in artificial intelligence, digital data storage and cryptocurrencies, we see similar growth in risks related to data privacy, cybersecurity and biases in artificial intelligence, to name a few. Internal auditors and organizations around the world recognize that technology is both the single largest driver of both opportunity and risk.”
Here’s a look at some of the survey’s key findings:
- About 40% of audit leaders said their budgets had increased over the past year, and 60% have achieved budget sufficiency.
- Nearly 70% of internal audit functions review high-risk areas like cybersecurity and IT, at least once a year.
- Professional development budgets for audit professionals moved sharply upward after declining due to the Covid pandemic, with 21% of organizations increasing their spending in this area.
Visit IIA’s website to download and read the full survey findings.