Internal vs. Third-Party Audits: Why You Need to be Leveraging Both

by Sarah Harvey / February 27th, 2020

Internal Audits vs. External Audits

Is an internal audit enough? Should you utilize both internal and external audits? This is an ongoing conversation in our arena. But at KirkpatrickPrice, we know that there is power in having both perspectives, especially when it comes to conquering your compliance goals. If you want to prove to your stakeholders that you’re willing to do everything you can to take control of the cyber risks your organization is faced with, listen as KirkpatrickPrice’s Founder and President, Joseph Kirkpatrick, discusses the real differences between internal and external audits and how the difference could impact your organization’s compliance efforts.

According to the Institute of Internal Auditors, “Internal auditing is an independent, objective assurance and consulting activity designed to add value and improve an organization’s operations. It helps an organization accomplish its objectives by bringing a systematic, disciplined approach to evaluate and improve the effectiveness of risk management, control, and governance processes. While internal audits are useful in that they are closely aligned with your organization’s objectives, are conducted by experts in your unique business rules and applications, and are also familiar with your organization’s personalities, relationships, and histories, they also shouldn’t be solely relied upon. In fact, internal audits are often weakened because tunnel vision develops by internal audit staff; it can be difficult to maintain current trends and issues; there’s limited staff and resources that can hold back adoption of new techniques; and lastly, their voice can lose influence over time.

On the other hand, external audits can strengthen your internal audit processes, as they offer independence and objectivity, subject matter experts, enhanced credibility with partners and stakeholders, and a wide array of resources to address your unique challenges.

Investing in external audits can be challenging depending on your size, personnel, experience, time, and financial resources, but at the end of the day, they can enhance your internal audit program and give you the third-party assurance you need to validate the accuracy of your internal audit findings.

Watch the full webinar on-demand now to learn more about the differences between internal audits and external audits, find out tools internal auditors should be equipped with, and more.