PwC survey polled more than 2,000 executives from 55 countries and concluded that, to remain relevant and meet stakeholder demands, internal audit must evolve into an enhanced Internal Audit 2.0 state that provides business leaders with actionable business risk intelligence.

“The financial crisis has led to a heightened scrutiny of companies’ risk management practices, As many have blamed the crisis on poor risk management, CEOs across all industries are looking to upgrade their enterprise-wide risk management capability to better prepare for success in what is likely to be a very challenging business environment”, said Dinu Bumbacea (photo), PwC Advisory Lead Partner for Romania.

The study identifies three critical focus areas for internal audit departments: critical risks and issues; aligning internal audit’s value position with its stakeholders’ expectations; matching the staffing model with that value proposition.

These are also the three areas where internal audit leaders believe they have the most room to improve.

“What senior executives should take away from this survey is that, for an internal audit team to assume the role of strategic partner, members must employ highly experienced and skilled professionals who can pinpoint trouble spots, pool a lot of data, better utilize technology and help the organization be more successful in a very challenging business environment,” Dinu Bumbacea added.

With these new challenges in mind, PwC believes internal audit must take a more radical approach to change than it has in the past, and rethink and redefine the way it works.