What do the members of the Audit Committee want to hear from the Internal Audit Manager? The members of the Audit Committee and the Internal Auditor sit together around the same boardroom table, but the profiles, attitudes and motivations are not alike.
Xavier Bedoret has been invited on July 13, 2021 by Verra Marmalidou (President) and Effie Kokka (CEO) of the Greek Institute of Internal Auditors to lead a workshop on this subject.
What do the members of the Audit Committee think about the agenda of the meeting, the sensitivity of the topics, the “knowns and unknowns” around each topic? Is the Audit Committee likely to respond favorably or will it be skeptical, perhaps even hostile? What biases, concerns or fears should the Internal Auditor overcome to achieve his/her goal?
Audit Committee members are independent directors who meet the Internal Auditor only four times a year. Their main goal is to ensure that they discharge their responsibilities effectively. As such, they are conscious that they need information that is both understandable and put in its context.
Superimposed on this background is the Internal Auditor’s need to communicate both the results of audits as well as the process undertaken. Nowadays, the Internal Auditor must also be in a position of a “trusted advisor” balancing the path towards this status with ascertaining that processes and systems are effectively tested and considered “under control”.