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The Daily

The Five Habits of Highly Successful Internal Auditors

Chris Gaetano
Published Date:
Mar 9, 2016

Blank SurveyThe business world has many good internal auditors, but what do the best ones have in common? A recent study from PricewaterhouseCoopers looked at what makes an effective leader in internal audit and narrowed it down to five key qualities:

 * Vision: "Very effective internal audit leaders possess a strong vision that aligns with both an organization’s strategic direction and stakeholders’ expectations."

 * Talent management: "Very effective leaders excel at the development and mentorship of people and have the courage to design a talent model that aligns with both a company’s business and internal audit’s vision." 

 * Positioning: "Strong positioning within an organization empowers very effective leaders to facilitate proactive discussions about strategic risks the organization is facing, and creates a platform for leaders to influence others in order to build an effective culture of controls throughout the organization." 

 * Communication: "Very effective leaders are confident, composed, and authentic. They bring bold perspectives, think broadly about the organization, and communicate powerfully as peers in executive forums."

 * Business alignment: "Very effective leaders focus on developing trust-based relationships throughout the business. By establishing close partnerships, they better understand what is happening in the business, align with transformational changes, and get ahead of risks while balancing objectivity." 

The study arrived at its conclusions by asking stakeholders to rate the effectiveness of their internal audit leaders. For those who rated them "very effective," they then asked what qualities made them so effective.