New and improved audit standards


By Keeley Lund, Technical Manager, Professional Standards and Guidance, CIPFA

There will be some changes to the Public Sector Internal Audit Standards (PSIAS) taking place in 2016. The Internal Audit Standards Advisory Board (IASAB) is asking practitioners to feedback whether there are any fundamental reasons why the new proposed IPPF mandatory elements, a Mission and a set of ten Core Principles for professional auditing, should not be brought into the PSIAS. The addition of the new elements ensures that there is no confusion between the PSIAS and the Global Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) framework. Therefore, the new and improved PSIAS will promise greater clarity and a better understanding of what good internal auditing systems consist of. 

What’s new? : The Mission and ten core principles

The Internal Audit Standards Advisory Board (IASAB) are proposing the introduction of two new elements to their standards: the Mission and ten Core Principles, as incorporated into the Global IIA’s IPPF in July 2015. Both elements set out what effective internal audit activity looks like and how the effectiveness of internal auditing systems can be measured. They will also help to give external and internal quality assessors a better understanding of the effectiveness of internal audit within an organisation. The consultation will be made live later this month, in order to receive feedback as quickly as possible, with the intention of enforcing the new PSIAS from 1 April 2016. 

Let your voice be heard!

The Internal Audit Standards Advisory Board (IASAB) is encouraging organisations to involve themselves in the consultation process, which will determine new additions to the PSIAS. The two new elements, the Mission and ten Core Principles have been designed to help organisations understand what constitutes good practice for internal auditors, and how this good practice can be measured. The IASAB have been asking practitioners for feedback on the new proposed elements informally, and are launching a formal consultation for all interested parties for comment later this month. Whilst the comments received so far have been largely positive, it is very important to receive feedback from as many organisations as possible. If all public sector organisations are expected to comply with these new elements, it is very important to guarantee that they can understand what is expected of them. By sharing your thoughts on the proposed changes, either positive or negative, you will be helping ensuring clarity of standards which will help to improve the performance of the public sector. These standards will influence the way in which your internal auditing system is run, and so your feedback could be vital to shaping the internal auditing industry.

EQA and the new PSIAS: no need to panic!

Changes can be daunting, especially changes that occur to your industry’s framework. With the proposed changes the Public Sector Internal Audit Standards (PSIAS) being reviewed, it is likely that the standards for internal auditors will be adjusted, however, this does not mean that the EQA will not alter the recommendation to review your internal auditing system every 5 years. The intention of these new elements is to improve the effectiveness of an organisations internal auditing system and improve the methods of measuring such effectiveness. External quality assessments (EQA) will still maintain its recommendation of reviewing your Internal auditing system every 5 years to ensure that the standards are being implemented successfully, and to offer an outside perspective on measuring the effectiveness of the system. External assessments are proven to improve and encourage conformance with industry principles and standards, which ultimately improve the sector. Therefore, regular assessments will encourage the compliance of these new standards and continue to improve internal auditing systems within public sector organisations.

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