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September 17, 2013

Five Probing Questions the Audit Committee Should Be Asking the CAE

Richard Chambers, CIA, CGAP, CCSA, CRMA, shares his personal reflections and insights on the internal audit profession.

No relationship for a Chief Audit Executive (CAE) has been transformed more over the past decade than that with the audit committee. According to The IIA’s Audit Executive Center, more than 75 percent of internal audit departments in North America report functionally to the audit committee. And in many companies, the audit committee holds a discussion session with the CAE at every meeting.

The audit committee’s success is tied to the effectiveness of the internal audit department. Accordingly, audit committee members must have complete confidence in the internal audit function and its CAE. This confidence can only be achieved with a strong, continuous and open dialogue between the CAE and the audit committee. Of course, dialogue is a two-way street; it’s as much the responsibility of the CAE as the committee members themselves. But the committee must be willing to drive that dialogue in a way that provides evidence of the internal audit’s professionalism, business knowledge and risk acumen.

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