Definition

internal audit (IA)

Contributor(s): Ben Cole

An internal audit is an organizational initiative to monitor and analyze its own business operations in order to determine how well it conforms to a set of specific criteria. 

In the enterprise, an internal audit can focus on enterprise risk management functions, security processes or maintaining regulatory compliance, as well as many other business departments and activities. As part of the internal audit plan, auditors try to find discrepancies between operational processes and what those processes are designed to do. If internal auditors do find discrepancies, they report them to company leadership so the processes can be improved. 

Internal audit plans are often designed as a preemptive maneuver to maintain operational efficiency and financial reliability, as well as to safeguard assets.

This was last updated in February 2013

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