Leading the Internal Audit Function

Lynn Fountain

© 2015 - Auerbach Publications
Published October 28, 2015
Reference - 293 Pages - 7 B/W Illustrations
ISBN 9781498730426 - CAT# K26126
Series: Internal Audit and IT Audit

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  • Presents practical lessons from an experienced CAE and internal auditor whose experience includes working in the role with four companies as well as training thousands of auditors
  • Examines the issues of understanding and dealing with culture and business evolution along with requirements for upholding IIA Standards
  • Provides a practical and realistic tool for all auditors to understand challenges, issues, and potential alternative solutions when executing the role
  • Outlines the many requirements and professional responsibilities when undertaking a CAE role
  • Identifies ways to advance the value of the internal audit


While the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) has provided standards and guidelines for the practice of internal audit through the International Professional Practice Framework (IPPF), internal auditors and Chief Audit Executives (CAEs) continue to experience difficulties when attempting to balance the requirements of the IPPF with management expectations. The true challenge for any internal auditor is to appropriately apply the Standards while exerting adequate independence and objectivity in the face of management pressure.

In Leading the Internal Audit Function, Lynn Fountain presents lessons learned from her extensive experience as an internal auditor, internal audit manager, and CAE to help internal auditors understand the challenges, issues, and potential alternative solutions when executing the role. The book identifies more than 50 challenges for auditors and discusses potential alternative actions the auditor can take when they experience a similar challenge. The book explains how to:

  • Build a value-oriented function that abides by the standards and supports the objectives and goals of the organization.
  • Execute the many aspects of the internal audit, including assurance and consulting work.
  • Build a risk-based audit process.
  • Develop and sustain the internal audit team.
  • Develop and manage relationships with management and the audit committee.
  • Manage internal audit’s role in corporate governance, compliance, and fraud.

Leading the Internal Audit Function includes real-life examples, scenarios, and lessons learned from internal auditors and CAEs to emphasize the importance of carefully managing all aspects of the internal audit. The author summarizes her many lessons learned into ten "commandments" for both CAEs and internal auditors. By following the guidelines in this book, you should be well-equipped to gain management support, perform effective and ethical audits, and uphold IIA Standards.