The COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic is requiring extraordinary actions by Governments in both developed and developing countries. These include the need to build additional health care capacity as the virus spreads; the creation of new norms of (distant) social interaction; and the provision of additional financial support for people and businesses directly impacted by the illness. Stay-at-home guidelines are also changing the way public sector organizations work, with a much greater focus on remote working and non-personal interactions.
The pandemic impacts the work of internal auditors in different ways. The PEMPAL Internal Audit Community of Practice (IACOP) virtual workshop therefore aims to promote a discussion of those issues directly impacting the internal audit function.
The virtual workshop will consist of short presentations on the impact of the virus on internal audit work including examples from the Netherlands, Ukraine, the Republic of South Africa, and the United Kingdom, as well a commentary on the benefits and drawbacks of the evolving role of internal auditors. This will be followed by a question & answer session.
The virtual workshop aims to provide answers to the following questions:
- How will the virus impact the risk assessments that underpin the planned work of internal audit units and what changes should be made to the work planned?
- Should new audits be undertaken to respond to changes in risk and the management of high risk and high impact activities?
- Shall auditors take a different role and move to the other lines of defense?
- How will the need for social distancing and remote working impact the approach to audit field work undertaken?
- How can internal audit adopt lean and agile ways of working and reporting to speed up the delivery of mission critical audits of emergency responses by the public sector?
- What is the likely impact on internal controls of the need to act quickly in the interests of the nation? Should internal audit help by providing more ex-post assurance on the effectiveness of expenditure in high risk areas?