The Value of Internal Audit Through a Fresh Set of Eyes

By: Jeanette McKeever, CCBIA, Consultant and Internal Audit Operations Manager

There is risk in every aspect of the banking industry and the regulatory environment seems to continually change. As to the governance and control functions of the banking industry, it may be refreshing to the board of directors, audit committee, and executive management to have their internal audit function re-assessed and validated though a fresh set of eyes to assure that the controls in place are functioning as intended.

A strong internal control system, including an independent and effective internal audit function, is part of sound corporate governance. The board of directors, audit committee, senior management, and supervisors must be satisfied with the effectiveness of the bank’s internal audit function, that policies and practices are followed, and that management takes appropriate and timely corrective action in response to internal control weaknesses identified by internal auditors. An internal audit function provides vital assurance to a bank’s board of directors (who ultimately remains responsible for the internal audit function, whether in-house or outsourced) as to the quality of the bank’s internal control system. In doing so, the function helps reduce the risk of loss and reputational damage to the bank.

All internal auditors (whether in-house or outsourced) must have integrity and professional competence, including the knowledge and experience of each internal auditor and of team members collectively. This is essential to the effectiveness of the internal audit function.

We encourage bank internal auditors to comply with and to contribute to the development of national professional standards, such as those issued by the Institute of Internal Auditors, and to promote due consideration of prudent issues in the development of internal audit standards and practices.

Every activity (including outsourced activities) of the bank should fall within the scope of the internal audit function. The scope of the internal audit function’s activities should ensure adequate coverage of matters of regulatory interest within the bank’s audit plan. Regular communication by the audit committee, management, and
affected personnel is crucial to identify the weaknesses and risk associated to assure that timely remedial actions are taken.

Young & Associates, Inc. can independently assess the effectiveness and efficiency of the bank’s internal control, risk management, and governance systems, as well as processes to provide assurance and value that the internal control structure in place operates according to sound principles and standards.

For more information on how we might provide internal audit services specific to your bank’s needs, whether it is outsourced or co-sourced, please contact me at 1.800.525.9775 or click here to send an email.