AuditBoard survey finds that new risks are expected to emerge in post-pandemic environment
- Published: Friday, 12 November 2021 08:57
COVID-19 stretched organizational resources and unleashed new risks on a global basis, prompting an ongoing pivot by internal audit departments to address the evolving challenges, according to a new survey by AuditBoard.
Cyber security continues to be a top risk as organizations grapple with unrelenting attacks, but emerging risks involving the workforce, third-party oversight, regulatory changes, and business continuity are becoming increasingly in focus.
These are some of the findings in a new report, ‘2022 Focus on the Future, Internal Audit Resilience and Readiness in the New Age of Risk’.
The survey of internal audit leaders across North America, including those at major Fortune 500 companies, found that:
- Cyber security and data protection are considered top risks by 90 percent of respondents.
- The turn to greater remote operations has brought multiple rewards and increased use of new technologies, but also challenges, especially in the areas of organizational relationships and talent retention.
- The post-pandemic risk landscape is quickly changing, with economic conditions; third-party risks; environmental sustainability concerns; diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI); and more emerging as critical areas of focus for enterprises over the next few years.
The survey shows that internal audit is responding to existing and new challenges by increasing resources, a trend that’s expected to continue through at least 2025. For example, in 2021, twice as many internal audit leaders (36 percent) reported increased budgets compared with those seeing declines (18 percent), and nearly three times as many (29 percent) increased staff as decreased staff (10 percent). Over the next two years, 52 percent forecast budget increases and 46 percent expect to expand their teams, with an emphasis on highly sought skills.