COVID-19 has put pressure on independence as internal auditors strive to offer the most assistance to management as possible. It should be remembered that advisory services form part of the definition of internal auditing and the value it can bring to an organization’s success. Internal audit’s unique position and expertise make it ideally placed to provide insightful advice to foster continuous improvement. Internal audit should always be responsive to circumstances and be flexible in order to provide maximum benefit.
Offering advice, even developing solutions, does not amount to taking management decisions and ownership of risk. In a crisis situation, the CAE should anticipate where senior management and the governing body would gain most from advisory services. Through such activity internal auditors will be able to help the organization learn valuable lessons for the future. In other words, they should continue to think and act like auditors, even when undertaking advisory tasks.
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