Top 3 Takeaways from the 2018 IIA General Audit Management Conference

top 3 takeaways

The 2018 General Audit Management (GAM) Conference is in the books. The annual event, presented by the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA), is the premier experience for leaders to explore emerging issues and exchange leading practices for positive outcomes.

With nearly 40 years of history, GAM continues to evolve with the demands of the internal audit profession and changing business environment. ​This year's event focused on a key theme of stepping out of your comfort zone with innovation and impact.

Here are three of the top takeaways that you need to know from the 2018 IIA GAM Conference in Las Vegas.

1. Internal audit is disrupting its own business model.

One conference theme challenged traditional thinking, proposing that internal audit is disrupting its own business model. Hindsight is the status quo—but there is an increasing opportunity to provide more foresight and insight into how companies manage risk. Auditors need to take a deeper look into how they deliver services in order to understand if they are truly providing value to their organizations. We cannot continue to audit the same way we have in the past.

2. Internal audit needs to move at the speed of innovation vs. the speed of risk.

PwC delivered a session on its annual State of the Internal Audit Profession survey. The central message was that internal audit needs to move at the speed of innovation. In prior years, it has always been about moving at the speed of risk. This is a fundamental paradigm shift that incorporates the need to embrace and include new technological innovations into our existing audit methodologies.

In addition, PwC shared some interesting statistics from the survey:

  • 56% of internal audit leaders believe technology adoption impacts their value to the organization
  • 56% of internal audit leaders view missing risks as a top risk of not improving technology adoption
  • 14% of respondents are categorized as "evolvers" who are advanced in technology adoption
  • 75% of evolvers are providing significant value to their organizations

3. Internal audit can add value by learning how to navigate business disruption.

Disruption was the name of the game at this year's GAM—and we are seeing it in the industry as a whole. It is a prime opportunity for internal auditors to expand their role within the company by becoming experts in what's next. Trending topics where internal auditors can play a significant part include:

  • Cybersecurity
  • Data analytics
  • Company culture
  • Crisis management
  • Business continuity planning
  • Machine learning and artificial intelligence

Internal audit teams looking to employ practices discussed at this year's IIA GAM event should consider evaluating technologies such as Wdesk. With a single cloud platform, auditors can manage assessments, scoping and testing, and reporting, which reduces risk and frees up time to provide more value-added activities.

Ernest Anunciacion

About the author

Ernest Anunciacion, Senior Product Marketing Manager, brings over 15 years of experience in internal audit, risk management, and business advisory consulting to Workiva. Ernest is a Certified Internal Auditor and Six Sigma Black Belt. He holds an undergraduate degree and an executive M.B.A. from the Carlson School of Business at the University of Minnesota.