Internal Audit Consultant: What Do They Do & How Can They Help Your Business?
As you continue to prepare for 2023, you’re likely looking to streamline your operations, safeguard your organization and continue to find new ways to drive innovation.
In order to achieve such goals while reducing the potential for risk and implementing measures to grow more sustainably, it can be beneficial to turn to an internal audit consultant for guidance.
Everything you need to know about Internal Audit consultants:
- What is an internal audit?
- What does an internal audit consultant do?
- When should you hire an internal audit consultant?
- How can an internal audit consultant help your business?
- Types of projects internal audit consultants work on, plus examples
What is an Internal Audit?
Internal audits involve the review and analysis of the effectiveness of a company’s internal controls and important company data regarding risks, goals, and operations. This is an incredibly important process as oftentimes, internal controls are integrated to safeguard your business against threats — such as fraud, non-compliance to laws and regulations, and contract violations.
Internal audit activities:
- Enterprise Risk Management: Assessment of organizational risks to reduce negative impacts
- SOX Compliance Management: Collaboration between teams, audit committees, and external auditors to ensure SOX readiness
- Internal Audit Project Management: Development of annual internal audit plans to provide critical insights into potential risks and internal control remedies
- Cybersecurity Assessments: Conducting cybersecurity assessments, IT risk assessments, IT security audits and IT internal audits that inform the development of protocols, policies and security plans that safeguard your company, network and data
- Operational Audits: Assessing business processes, identifying potential areas for improvement and implementing measures that maximize operational efficiency
- Financial Audits: Examining financial statements to ensure they accurately represent an organizations transactionsand diving into historical financial data to ensure accurate estimates and other financial decisions can be made
What does an Internal Audit consultant do?
An internal audit consultant or internal auditing team provides objective support with operational and financial audit process evaluation, including reviewing company procedures, assessing potential risks and developing a plan for integrating effective internal controls.
Skills of Internal Audit consultants:
- Interacting with executives and across teams to ensure an understanding of client operations, goals and risks
- Conducting walkthroughs, reviewing processes for efficiency and identifying areas for improvement
- Documenting internal control procedures
- Establishing new internal controls and consistently monitoring and assessing them for effectiveness
- Drafting reports and communicating results to management and audit committees
- Ensuring compliance with laws and regulations such as SOX and SOC
- Developing audit plans
- Ensuring adherence to formal IT frameworks such as ISO 2700, NIST and others
When should you hire an Internal Audit consultant?
Internal audit consultants and teams work closely with high-level business executives to understand key business drivers, risks and areas for improvement – so before you run the risk of a data breach or having your team operate inefficiently, it’s vital to turn to an internal audit consultant for guidance.
How can an Internal Audit consultant help your business?
- Improves operational efficiency
- Increases profit and improve cost recovery
- Improves reporting accuracy
- Monitors compliance with laws and regulations
- Implement effective internal controls
- Assess accuracy of financial data
- Communicate with key stakeholders and audit committees, giving you more time to focus on overall goal development
Types of projects Internal Audit consultants work on, plus examples:
Internal audit consultants work on a multitude of different projects, including everything from working with key stakeholders to understand key business drivers to developing reports for audit committees.
Let’s take a look into one of the Bridgepoint Consulting team’s previous experiences as an example of the type of projects internal audit consultants are often tasked with. For a more detailed look, please head to our SOX compliance case study.
A clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the respiratory sector became a publicly held company through a reverse merger. As a result of going public, they had to ensure SOX compliance.
After conducting a walkthrough to identify processes and gaps, the team provided guidance with control implementation and policies, identifying emerging risks and controls, and more. Next, they successfully implemented a SOX compliance program to reduce overall financial reporting risks and make processes more efficient, saving the client time and money.
As you can see, internal audit consultants work on many different types of projects — but the bottom line is that they’re instrumental in making the auditing process go as smoothly as possible while setting your business up for future success.
Need Internal Audit Support?
Bridgepoint Consulting provides internal audit support to help you protect and add value to your business. Our experienced team delivers risk-based and objective assurance and advice to revolutionize your internal audit department and address strategic, financial, operational, regulatory and fraud risk areas.
Contact us today or learn more about our internal audit services at the link below.