Chapter 6Internal Audit Strategy and Planning

Perception is strong and sight weak. In strategy it is important to see distant things as if they were close and to take a distanced view of close things.

Miyamoto Musashi

Internal audit functions exist to ask the difficult questions and to challenge the pervading wisdom. They offer the safety and comfort of an internal assurance activity—providing management and the audit committee with an early warning that things may not be tracking as desired or assurance when things are working well.

Chief audit executives walk the tightrope between management and the board, working collaboratively with both groups to provide assurance over risks at an operational, strategic, financial, and regulatory level. Ultimately, internal audit functions support management to maximize organizational value.

The internal audit strategy is the glue that binds the internal audit function and defines its vision and purpose. The strategy articulates what success will look like for internal audit and identifies the opportunities, risks, and resource implications of internal audit's planned approach.

Strategic Planning as a Key Input of the Internal Audit Function

Internal Audit Strategy

Internal audit strategy is the first of three key sets of inputs to a quality internal audit function; the other elements are staffing and professional practices.

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