The Politics of Internal Auditing


Organizations are, by definition, political. They are comprised of people with: 

  •       Individual goals and objectives.
  •       Different approaches to accomplishing business objectives.
  •       Distinct value systems.
  •       Varied motivational reward systems.

This research report addresses political pressure on chief audit executives (CAEs) and their internal audit departments. Having surveyed nearly 500 CAEs from various business sectors around the world, researchers Patty Miller and Larry Rittenberg share: 

  •       How effective CAEs work to mitigate political pressure.
  •       Lessons learned that may help manage political pressure.

The nature of organizations – combined with the basic human nature to succeed and be respected – results in the likelihood that political pressure will always be a risk in any organization.

Research findings reveal: 

  •       Political pressure comes in many forms.
  •       Political pressure can be managed and partially mitigated, but it always exists.
  •       Professional competence is required, but is not sufficient.
  •       The pressure exists whether the CAE position is career-focused or rotational.

This research points out some steps CAEs can take to: 

  •       Strengthen organizational culture.
  •       Improve governance structure.
  •       Build support for internal auditing.