Quality in Internal Audit

What is Quality?

Quality is not absolute. The quality of a product or service is the degree to which the product or service meets the customer’s expectations.

Quality does not just happen. To receive quality a systematic approach from experts is needed. It is the combination of the right people, the right systems, and a commitment to excellence.

Quality in Internal Audit

On one hand side Internal Audit needs to meet the expectations of the clients concerning quality, on the other hand side it has to conform the International Standards (IIAS).

As per the new Standards valid from 1.1.2017 internal auditors are explicitly obliged to align their activities with the company strategy. Therefore, internal audit gains influence on a good corporate governance and increases the need for a corresponding quality control. Standard 1300 requires a quality assurance and improvement program (QAIP), see picture.

Internal assessments include ongoing monitoring of the performance and periodic self-assessments. External assessments can be carried out through a full external assessment (EQA) or a self-assessment with independent external validator (SAIV) and must be conducted at least every 5 years. The external assessors must be qualified and demonstrate competence in professional practice of internal auditing as well as in the external assessment process.

These quality requirements are not new, but they have been adapted with the latest update of the IIA Standards as per 1.1.2017. They oblige Internal Auditors explicitly to align their activities to company’s strategy. They have now to consider several requirements concerning the communication with the board and management (IIAS 1320) and to ensure that the external assessor concludes the conformance with the Code of Ethics and the Standards (IIAS 1312).

Recent studies and surveys (CBOK, Enquête) show that quality assurance improved over the last few years, but still has most need for action compared to the other IIA Standards.

To meet the numerous quality requirements of the IIA standards as Internal Audit IIA Switzerland supports in quality assurance as follows:

  • IIA Switzerland members have access to the Q-SAT (Quality Self-Assessment Tool) guideline in table form. It facilitates the establishment and maintenance of quality assurance.
  • The reason participants attend the English spoken training Internal Audit Assessment respectively the German spoken Kurs zum Erwerb des Befähigungsausweises (zum Quality Assessor) is not only to get the quality assessor’s accreditation but to be optimally prepared for an external quality assessment.

For all questions around quality please do not hesitate to contact info(at)svir.ch.