A new code of practice from the Chartered Institute of Internal Auditors has said that internal auditors should be allowed unrestricted access to charities and the ability to attend and observe board meetings.
The new code, which makes 38 recommendations to improve corporate governance in the private and voluntary sectors, also includes allowing internal auditors to have direct lines to chief executives.
It goes on to state that every charity and business should employ a chief internal auditor, even in cases where the internal audit function is outsourced. This would ensure chief internal auditors have access to key management information and decisions.
Regular communication and sharing of information between the internal auditors and external auditors is also recommended in the code to ensure both carry out their duties effectively.
Brendan Nelson, chair of the Internal Audit Code of Practice Steering Committee, said: “Strong, effective and well-resourced internal audit functions have a central role to play in supporting boards to better manage and mitigate the risks they face.
“I urge boards, and in particular audit committees, to apply appropriately the Internal Audit Code of Practice to increase the effectiveness of their internal audit functions in the pursuit of stronger corporate governance and risk management.”
You can download your copy of the Code via the Chartered Institute of Internal Auditors’ website, where it explains:
Our Internal Audit Code of Practice aims to enhance the overall effectiveness of internal audit, and its impact, within organisations operating in the UK and Ireland.
Its recommendations can be regarded as a benchmark of good practice against which organisations can assess their internal audit function.
The Code is principles-based. It is expected that the Code should be applied proportionately, and therefore smaller organisations should apply the principles on which the Code is based in light of their size, risk profile and internal organisation and the nature, scope and complexity of their operations.