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Survey: Enterprise, operational and cybersecurity risks dominate audit priorities for 2021

Written on Aug 10, 2021

A new survey of internal auditors shows that despite volatility of the risk landscape in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, most organizations still rely on manual tools and technologies for internal audit processes.

The MetricStream State of Internal Audit Survey for 2021 is based on the responses obtained from internal auditors across multiple geographies and industries, including banking and financial services, government, telecom, technology, healthcare, energy and utilities, and others.

The key areas covered in the survey were:

  • How COVID-19 has globally impacted internal audit professionals and their way of work.
  • The biggest internal audit challenges, ranging from skills shortages to a changing risk landscape
  • Top tools, techniques, and technologies used by audit professionals to adapt to the new normal
  • The key audit priorities and future areas of investment

Key takeaways:

  • 67% of internal auditors have had to change their plans, and reprioritize audit activities during the pandemic
  • 60% of internal auditors do not follow an agile approach to internal auditing
  • Only 39% of the respondents said that they are in the process of implementing, or have already implemented continuous monitoring and continuous auditing and are actively using them
  • 80% of organizations still use office productivity software or point solutions while only 10% of respondents said they use one integrated solution for policy, audit, risk, and compliance management
  • Organizations mostly use audit software for conducting field work, creating audit plans, scheduling audit and tasks, and creating reports
  • Although changing business priorities, risk and compliance landscape, and the lack of right tools and technologies were cited as the top challenges faced by internal auditors, only 27% of those surveyed said that they will dedicate future investments towards adopting an integrated solution for policy, audit, risk, and compliance

The survey suggests organizations still need to adopt more advanced features to meet the requirements of today's volatile and fast-paced business environment. By leveraging advanced technologies and integrated solutions, organizations can gain a holistic view into risks and make more strategic decisions about their business.