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 Thought Leadership

Thought Leadership: Insight Creates Value

Have you considered submitting an article to the Thought Leadership Committee at IIA Canada? View the potential article categories, writing requirements as well as the benefits of becoming an IIA Canada Thought Leader. To view the requirements, please click here.

November 2020 COVID-19: Longer-Term Impact on Internal Audit - Focus on Canada

The ongoing effects of COVID-19 are changing the way businesses operate and their outlook for the future. Internal audit functions in Canada are starting to experience the longer-term impacts as well. COVID-19: Longer-Term Impact on Internal Audit - Focus on Canada. is the second in a series of reports focused on pandemic impacts. It is based on responses from a survey of internal audit leaders, including Canadian Chief Audit Executives (CAEs) and Directors. Read the full article.

November 2020 Ethics and Internal Auditing

Internal auditors can play a larger role in helping organizations and its boards to monitor controls established to prevent and detect fraud and to help promote ethical conduct throughout the organization. Internal auditors should evaluate whether the current program is adequately designed for maximum effectiveness in preventing and detecting wrongdoing by employees and whether corporate management is enforcing the program or is indirectly encouraging or pressuring employees to engage in misconduct. Read the full article.

October 2020 Internal Audit’s Role and Considerations in Workplace Ethics Programs and Investigations

Today’s internal auditors face a broad range of responsibilities, risks, and considerations when engaging in workplace ethics programs and investigations. Importantly, the eco-system of workplace culture and ethical conduct stands to benefit from internal audit’s mandate and organizational insights. While your specific mandate, responsibilities, and work environment is unique, below are a few topics and considerations to be familiar with. Read the full blog.

July 2020 COVID-19 Impact on Internal Audit - Focus on Canada

This research report provides the results of two surveys; one conducted in April and one in May by The IIA Audit Executive Center (AEC). Opinions were solicited from Canadian CAEs and internal audit directors. The research findings provide an insightful analysis on how COVID-19 is affecting internal audit, on how CAEs and directors have been adapting to the dynamic risk environment caused by the pandemic, and where internal audit activity has increased, what non-audit activities have been added to IA, and how organizations are preparing for the “new normal” and for returning to the workplace. Read the full report.

May 2020 Effective Risk Mitigation - Internal Audit and Cyber Security & Privacy: Guidelines and a Checklist

The areas of risk identification and mitigation have exploded for organizations since the turn of the new millennium. With data becoming an organization’s most valuable asset, it has also become its most vulnerable. Cybercriminals are continually targeting potential weaknesses in your security stance. Cyber-attacks can culminate in an organization suffering costly or irreparable operational, financial and reputational damage. Read more.

May 2020 What Have We Learned from COVID-19?

It has been over two months since we were all told to work from home. It has been taxing for many of us, whether it is balancing work with taking care of the young and the old at home, or simply working longer hours now that we do not have to commute and have no formal lunch breaks. On the other hand, these difficult weeks have also provided us with invaluable experiences and have made us more prepared for the next crisis – although none of us would welcome another crisis like COVID-19. Those of us who survived through the 2007–2008 financial tsunami certainly would not have expected another worldwide economic recession in just over a decade. So, what have we learned from COVID-19? Read the full article.

November 2019 From the Chair - A Blog by Richard Arthurs:

Preparing For the Future: The Emerging Talent War for Canadian Internal Audit Resources

There are a number of indicators showing the demand for internal audit resources in Canada is far exceeding supply. Today, that demand looks vastly different from the way it did years ago. New open internal audit positions, many of which now require advanced technical skills to address risk created by technological advancement and change, have become difficult to fill. To read the full article, ​please click here​.

November 2019  Artificial Intelligence and Auditing:  Overview of Potential Impact on Public Sector Auditors 
​Artificial intelligence (AI) is an intriguing emerging technology. Rapidly adopted by the IT industry, it has found myriad applications in our economy and now appears to be ubiquitous.  Its capacity to automate processes and extend the reach of the human mind is already causing profound changes in a number of fields, including auditing.  This article explores how AI is revolutionizing the audit profession. To read the full article,  ​please click here​.​

June 2019 Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Internal Audit 

Artificial intelligence: Where do we stand?

Companies are fast approaching the most significant technological revolution of the 21st century, namely artificial intelligence (AI). This emerging paradigm, which is just starting to transform our lives and our organizations, is not some fleeting trend that we can afford to underestimate. The impact of AI will be immense, to an extent never before seen! To read the full article, ​please click here​.​

April 2019 From the Chair - A Blog by Richard Arthurs: Is the Future of Internal Audit at Risk? 

Technology has brought great opportunity to innovate and disrupt business models, though with strategic change there is always strategic risk being created at the same accelerating rate. Many are asking, “Is Internal Audit changing fast enough to stay relevant?”. Internal Audit leaders must be asked, “Is your organization changing at a pace much greater than your internal audit function?”. If the answer is yes, and this has been the case for an extended period, you should then ask, “Is your internal audit function remaining relevant while focusing on the greatest value-added opportunities?”. To read the full article, ​please click here​.

January 2019 From the Chair - A Blog by Richard Arthurs: Disrupt Yourself
Disruption is simply the impact of change. The speed of innovation and its adoption are dictating how fast this change or disruption will happen. In 2018, we constantly heard about block chain, crypto-currency, augmented intelligence, machine learning, advanced analytics, robotics, drones, semi and fully autonomous vehicles, voice controlled personal assistants, smart homes, facial recognition, and much more innovation that is on the way.  ​To read the full article, please click here​.
December 2018 From the Chair - A Blog by Richard Arthurs: Agile Internal Audit
Is Agile Internal Audit valuable for Internal Audit shops? The more a process or an auditable entity changes the greater the need for internal audit to have an agile approach to both planning and executing audits. Learn more about Agile Intern Audit from Richard Arthurs, IIA Canada's Chair, in his new blog. To read the full article, please click here​.

November 2018 The Data Analytics Value Proposition from Internal Audit: Internal Audit Data Analytics Capability Maturity Map & Usage Example, Authored by Richard Arthurs, Mariesa Carbone, and Geoff Rodrigues
In an age of constant disruption, to optimize internal audit’s value proposition, technology should be embraced to capture and utilize large amounts of data to identify threats and opportunities. Our value proposition as internal audit leaders is to leverage today’s technological innovation and identify opportunities to provide relevant and timely information to decision makers in order to make risk-based decisions. To read the full article, please click here.

January 2018 Internal Audit in the Age of Digital Transformation By Ram Balakrishnan, Protiviti
The acceleration of digitalization in business is transforming internal audit at a rapid rate. Like their business stakeholders, internal auditors are trying to figure out how the changes in technology and the business environment are affecting organizations and how to beneficially harness and leverage the opportunities generated by digitalization. To read the full article, please click here.

January 2018 IT Governance, the added value proposition that will enhance reporting by Neil Power, CIA, CISA, CRISC, MCSE, COBIT 5 Certified Assessor
The International Standards for the Professional Practice of Internal Auditing 2110.A2 requires the internal audit activity to assess IT governance. As an added value proposition, Internal Audit has the opportunity to visually depict changes in maturity over time, providing the Audit Committee and Management with enhanced reporting and insight, not typical of assurance report. To read full article, please click here.

January 2018 Translating numbers into visualization by Sunder Gee, CPA, CMA, CIDA
Data visualization is the presentation of data or information in a visual context using a graphical or pictorial format. Visual data allows for quicker understanding of data and may expose patterns or outliers that might be overlooked in numerical or text based displays. Modern data visualization tools display data in advanced formats such as dashboards, maps, charts and graphs that go well beyond those visuals provided by spreadsheets. Some tools allow users to interactively query and drill down into the underlying detailed data. To read the full article, please click here.

In September 2016, CBC’s Current Affairs program launched a year-long project named “The Disruptors”. Anna Maria Tremonti (AMT), the senior reporter for The Current, described this project as “Stories of people, ideas and things that are disrupting today's society, both negatively and positively”. To read the full article, please click here.

May 2017 "A Seat at the Table"  Influence and Leadership, By Elaine Turner
Over the last several months, as a participant in the OCG’s Leadership pilot program, I have enhanced my appreciation of the qualities required of a leader and perhaps more importantly, some of the unique attributes that distinguish an auditor as a leader. To read the full article, please click here.

April 2017 Leveraging Internal Audit Information, By Marc Belanger
Management in the Government of Canada is continuously searching for new and innovative ideas to better implement and manage their initiatives. For this reason, much has been written recently on "deliverology" - the science of delivering on goals and promises1 - as the key to meeting government commitments. To read the full article, please click here.

April 2017 Proud to be Federal Government Internal Auditors, By Julie Betts
At a recent meeting, a colleague asked me how I came to become an internal auditor. I laughed and said that I fell into it! During an interview, while in my last year of university, a recruiter from the Treasury Board Secretariat asked me if I was interested in either the Finance or Internal Audit Recruitment Development Program. To read the full article, please click here.

February 23, 2017  The Role of the Internal Auditor in Business Resilience, authored by Cliff Trollope, Darcy Atkinson and Mariesa Carbone.  On a hot, dry day in early May 2016, winds whipped a wildfire in northeastern Alberta into a massive, out-of-control inferno, driving flames and heavy smoke straight into the town of Fort McMurray. Within hours, almost 90,000 people had been evacuated from the region, including workers from oilsands operations representing about 20 percent of Canada’s crude oil production. To read the full article, please click here.

October 24, 2016  The Power of Rhetoric, authored by Murray D. Wolfe and published in Internal Auditor.  Internal auditors are fortunate to have robust professional standards to help guide and inform the performance of their work.  One of the main pillars of these standards, is of course, the need to remain independent from the organization so that audits can be conducted without bias.  Independence helps better position auditors to identify solutions to key problems, and it prevents them from taking direct action to implement those solutions.  To read the full article, please click here​.

September 22, 2016  ​The Potential of Big Data Analytics is Significant, authored by Richard Arthurs.  Is value creation from Big Data analytics a contradiction?  From my experience overseeing data analytic projects in the U.S. and Canada over the last 15 years, there are many critical things to consider to drive value from such analytics.  This article identifies several reasons why Big Data analytics projects fail and why others succeed.  In the near future, the companies that get this right will leverage Big Data analytics to gain powerful competitive advantage. To read the full article, please click here​.

June 22, 2016  ​Reflections on the 75th Anniversary of our Profession, authored by Sally Chan.  More often than not, audit clients’ knowledge of our profession is less than we think. While the scope of internal audit has continued to evolve and expand, with a remarkable shift from traditional finance, operations, IT  to strategic business alignment, risk management, project assurances and more, audit clients are more interested in “what did we do wrong?” than “what can we improve together”. The image of the traditional stereotypical 20th century auditor still exists. The good news is that the opportunity to up the game is abundant.  To read the full article, please click here​.

If necessity is the mother of invention, where does innovation belong? Today, innovation is of key interest in the business world and within the Government of Canada. Experts claim that innovation is key for improved performance and essential for bottom line deliverables and corporate success. A position paper, Innovation Risk and Control written by CCAF-FCM, a Canadian non-profit research and educational foundation with the support of leaders in business and the Government of Canada, sets out strong rationale for the use of innovation. To read the full article, please click here.

March 6, 2016  20 Questions Directors Should Ask About Internal Audit, authored by Bruce Webster. CPA Canada, with assistance from IIA Canada.  The Risk Oversight and Governance Board (ROGB) of the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA Canada) has commissioned this publication to help directors overseeing the internal audit function understand the rapidly changing environment in which their organizations are operating.  The document addresses the increasing number and complexity of risks facing organizations, and focuses on how internal audit must adapt its role in order to 'build value' while helping to mitigate these risks.  To read the full article, please click here​.

March 3, 2016    Ensuring Boards get Value from Internal Audit - ICD in Collaboration with CPA & IIA Canada.
How Internal Audit can Help Audit Committees with Their Ever-Increasing Responsibilities.  Delivered by Richard Arthurs.  Please click on the link to view.

January 9, 2016
The ERM Tipping Point, authored by Richard Arthurs, CPA, CMA, CIA, CFE, CRMA
What does it take to tip the scales in Canada, from practitioners constantly selling ERM to having a sustainable and in-demand enterprise risk management (ERM) program that drives material incremental value to the business? When will we reach the tipping point where the majority of Canadian companies see ERM as essential to strategic success?

Read about the ERM 'sweet spot' and the secrets to ERM success. To read the full article, please click here.

December 15, 2015
Meeting Risk Governance Expectations, authored by Richard Arthurs and Doron Telem
The role of the audit committee (AC) is without question expanding, particularly in the area of risk. From cyber threats — such as hacking and cyber terrorism — to issues as diverse as privacy, disaster recovery and regulatory compliance, risk is occupying a growing amount of the AC’s time. One way ACs can become more efficient and effective in addressing risk is to better leverage the support and expertise of their internal auditors. To read the full article, please click here.


December 15, 2015
Mass Marketing Fraud Affecting Canadian Businesses
Mass marketing fraud (MMF) is an international problem that is only growing. MMF continues to pose a significant financial threat to Canadians and its businesses. Annual Canadian losses have steadily increased over the past ten years reaching more than $74 million in 2014. The CAFC reports that this represents a 266.94% increase since 2004 when losses were slightly less than $20 million. To read the full article, please click here.


October 2015         Mastering Risk Awards, In early 2015, Crowe Risk Consulting, in collaboration with the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) Canada, launched an inaugural survey of risk management professionals to identify best practices in internal audit and risk management in Canadian organizations. This survey was undertaken as part of an ongoing initiative to recognize organizations that have demonstrated sustained efforts toward mastering risk. This report examines the survey responses and explores the implications of the survey findings. During the course of this analysis, four major themes emerged. These themes suggest areas in which organizations can find opportunities for improvement: first, by clarifying their approach to the three lines of defence model; second, by taking a more strategic approach that elevates risk management to a higher priority; third, by developing methods for demonstrating results; and fourth, by working with the audit committee and senior management to establish a “mastering risk” culture.​  To read the full report, please click here​.​​​​