Definition of Certified Internal Auditor: An internal auditor is an employee of the company who evaluates the operations of the organization, independently and objectively. An internal auditor's role is to collect relevant and objective organization’s information. In fact, an internal auditor acts as the eyes and ears of the senior management and board of directors of the company. Their assigned work can cover any area of an organization; however, it is the audit committee that should guide their work. Historically, internal audits were aligned with audits of accounting and financial reporting. Many forms of audits, however, exist. The following are a few examples:
Internal Auditor vs. External Auditor
There are also several differences between an internal auditor and an external auditor, for example:
The Duties of an Internal Auditor
What are the duties of an internal auditor? That depends on the company, the particular role of an internal auditor, and what they are auditing. On the other hand, at a very high-level you can expect an internal auditor to:
How Can an Internal Auditor be Impartial and Objective?
While performing internal audits an independent auditor must remain objective and impartial. This can sometimes be challenging with internal politics or prejudices which can compromise the objectivity of an internal auditor or audit team. When this happens, the effectiveness of the team is limited and its value reduced for the company. An organization can reduce this risk by ensuring that its own work is not audited by internal audit. Internal audit should not report that they are auditing an individual or a group. The role of internal audit will report to the audit committee of the company or to a member of the board that has oversight authority. Although internal auditors seek to remain impartial, leadership in the company must understand that internal auditors must remain impartial. Leadership should, therefore, aim not to manipulate or force the internal audits into a particular conclusion. For example, in order to manipulate a conclusion, leadership should not impose assumptions on an internal audit.
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