When we talk about using internal audit as a defensive asset whose presence should ensure higher compliance, it also requires internal audit to be credible. This is an often overlooked core feature of internal audit. Credibility is related to a relevant and thorough understanding the subject matter one is auditing. Lack of adequate credibility is a comment often heard about external auditors, even though they often only work within a narrowly defined field within external audit boundaries. These boundaries are backwards looking and financial.
Proximity to the subject matter makes an internal auditor credible
A key element which makes an internal auditor credible is his or her deep understanding of the subject matter. This is why outsourcing of internal audit to large providers often is not a good idea. This is also why I really don’t support the large internal audit model which is now being pushed at the level of the Belgian federal government.