Who audits the auditors?

02/09/2017

Have you ever wondered if the Institute’s internal auditors are audited? That’s exactly what Institute Auditor Mike Moody set out to do in 2016 with the Audit Division’s first-ever external Quality Assessment Review (QAR).

A QAR is an essential part of a Quality Assurance and Improvement Program set forth by the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA), the global voice and advocate for the internal audit profession. The objective of a QAR is to evaluate or “audit” an internal audit activity’s conformance with the IIA’s definition of internal auditing, code of ethics, as well as its professional standards, and it tests the effectiveness of the internal audit activity.

The initiative was made possible thanks to the support of the Risk and Audit Committee of the Corporation and Institute leadership. An outside independent accounting and advisory firm specializing in service to higher education and research institutions nationwide performed the work through document and process reviews, site visits, and stakeholder interviews. Associate Audit Director Martha Jane Gagnon and Manager of Audit Quality Kim Ahern led the effort for the Division.

The Audit Division received a top-rating for conformance with the Institute of IIA’s International Standards for the Professional Practice of Internal Auditing and recognition as a well-established governance function, valued by the MIT community and contributing to the Institute’s mission. Key strengths noted in the final report included:

  • experienced and skilled staff perceived as collaborative, professional, open, and applying best practices;
  • focus on professional standards and practices;
  • support to Institute-wide process improvements;
  • strong satisfaction level of the Risk and Audit Committee;
  • involvement in campus committees and task forces; and
  • collaboration with Risk Management and Compliance Services.

In addition to noting high-level performance and strengths, the review team also presented opportunities to further excel based on a comparison of operations and activities with leading practices of high performing internal audit functions and stakeholder expectations. In support of these initiatives, the Division is redesigning its website to serve as a key resource for communication and information sharing with Institute stakeholders.

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