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Lean Auditing: Driving Added Value and Efficiency in Internal Audit by James C. Paterson

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6 Who Are the Customers of Internal Audit?

Based on my experience of lean workshops and client assignments, it is quite possible that the title of this chapter may strike some readers as rather strange. The sources of disquiet might be either:

  • Should an internal audit function have customers? Or;
  • Surely it is obvious who internal audit’s customers are!

I have sympathy for both of these perspectives. However, the application of lean principles to internal audit begins with a clear expectation that internal audit should deliver value add, with the minimum of waste, to the external customers of each organization they serve. As we will see, this mindset opens up some interesting and important perspectives that are worth exploring.

COMMON PRACTICES AND IIA STANDARDS OF NOTE

As a starting point, it is worth noting that current IIA standards do not use the word “customer” explicitly. Instead, various stakeholders are referred to in relation to internal audit:

  • The board – who should approve the charter of the internal audit function;
  • The board and senior management – who should understand the IIA’s standards;
  • The board, senior management, other stakeholders and clients – whose expectations internal audit should understand.

Others mentioned in the IIA standards include:

  • Internal and external providers of assurance services – in the context of assurance co-ordination;
  • The external auditor – in the context of assurance over governance;
  • Internal and external parties – in the context ...

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