Such a disclosure could create conflict between the internal auditor and the

Such a disclosure could create conflict between the

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auditor and the customer, and may dissuade the customer from requesting future consulting engagements. However, for the internal auditor to fulfill his or her responsibilities, the disclosure must be made so that achievement of organizational objectives is not threatened.3.Objectivity can be compromised any time the internal audit function performs management functions and/or makes management decisions. In instances when the internal audit function is asked to lend staff to management to perform positions on an interim basis, the potential damage to the internal audit function’s independence and the individual internal auditor’s objectivity can be minimized by ensuring that the borrowed staff clearly report to management during this period of time. In addition, the internal auditors who perform management roles should be precluded from performing assurance engagements in which the applicable area is being evaluated for a period of not less than one year. Typically, internal audit functions err on the side of conservatism by declining consulting engagements that may have the appearance of compromising independence. 4.In some instances, management or the audit committee may be somewhat averse to the concept that internal auditors should provide consulting services, primarily because they fear it would impair the internal auditors’ objectivity. Therefore, some internal audit functions may choose to omit specific references to consulting services in their charter. However, the authors believe it is important that the internal audit charter include provisions for consulting engagements. Doing so outlines the need for the internal audit function to have access to all areas of the organization when performing consulting engagements as it does when performing assurance engagements. Not including consulting services in the charter can create confusion should the internal audit function decide to provide any form of advice, and may increase the likelihood for disagreement regarding the internal audit function’s position on consulting services.5.The internal audit function must assess the risks to itself as well as to the organization when determining whether to accept a consulting engagement. Consulting engagements can create an environment in which the internal audit function can compromise independence and internal auditors can compromise objectivity if the risks are not identified and assessed. Impairment to either independence or objectivity can adversely affect the organization as a whole as the impairment can compromise the reliance senior management and the audit committee place on the internal audit function’s independent assessment of the system of internal controls when assurance engagements areperformed.
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