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Volume 27, Issue 3

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February 27, 2014

Empowering Business Agility: Strengthening Internal Audit’s Impact and Value

Findings from the eighth annual survey of chief audit executives in power and utilities, January 2014

How Utility IA Organizations Plan to Bolster Their Relevance and Response to Risks

Utilities are navigating dramatic and pronounced change. Demand management, smart grids, big data, shifting regulatory needs and growing capital investments are forcing utilities to change how they manage their businesses. At the same time, the growth of distributed generation, new sources of fossil fuel and the advent of shale gas and tight oil supplies are changing the industry’s economics and demanding new strategies. Utility company internal audit (IA) groups are pivotal to their company’s ability to navigate the risks inherent in these pervasive changes.

However, PwC’s eighth annual survey of Power and Utilities Chief Audit Executives (CAEs) found that IA groups are facing significant challenges in maintaining a central role. For example, respondents fear their groups won’t have the required skills to keep pace with a growing portfolio of capital projects, increasing regulatory complexity and new technologies. In addition, CAEs feel there is an opportunity to achieve closer alignment with the expectations of their stakeholders—from the critical risks that should be IA’s focus to advanced technologies that strengthen IA’s efficiency and efficacy.

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