Most Chief Audit Executives (CAEs) struggle with justifying the level of internal audit resources. When internal audit is viewed by stakeholders as a “cost center” this is an annual challenge justifying headcount and annual budgets, especially when the organization is in cost-cutting mode. Many in the profession advocate using benchmarking as a way to “right size” the internal audit function, but this can be a very slippery slope and is based on some faulty assumptions. A much better approach is to focus on the organizational risks and expectations of the board and senior management.
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