We live in an “always on,” 24/7 society. Our devices keep us continually connected, businesses are available around the clock, and fast turnaround cycles are the norm. We expect uninterrupted access to information and rapid delivery of products and services. Our world is hyperconnected and in constant motion.
As part of this new reality, risk and change have become corporate constants. New risks are always emerging, requiring internal audit to continually scan the horizon and keep pace with the latest developments. We need to be constantly aware of what’s happening in the organizational environment, the regulatory environment, and the profession. And we need to do all of this at the blistering speed of today’s business world.
In this day and age, internal auditors cannot afford to rest on their laurels. We must provide innovative and proactive pathways for improvement and continuously offer solutions. We should take every opportunity to strengthen our brand, build trust, and cultivate relationships. We need to be ever-vigilant in our approach to risk and never diminish our focus. Internal audit’s ability to remain relevant hinges on ceaseless attention to the priorities of the organizations we serve.
This theme connects as well to the founding place of The IIA — New York, “the city that never sleeps.” Since The Institute’s inception in midtown Manhattan 75 years ago, internal auditors have worked tirelessly and passionately to meet the evolving expectations of stakeholders. We need to continue that momentum, and build on it, as we work toward serving our clients in the current age of constant activity and perpetual movement. By honing our communication skills, adopting an integrated mindset, doing the right thing, focusing on strategy, and keeping an eye toward the future, we can help pave the way toward an even more proactive, business-centric focus.
Angela Witzany, CIA, QIAL, CRMA, is head of internal audit at Sparkassen Versicherung AG in Vienna.