The role of internal auditors is growing beyond the narrow area of financials, requiring professionals to be more nimble and embrace more tools and data. These trends and more were discussed Sept. 16 during Ledger & Quill’s annual seminar series, “Predicting the Future of Internal Audit: Friend or Foe?”
Students and industry professionals came to DePaul to hear from a panel of experts about how data analysis is shaping internal auditing. The speakers were Nick Allen, data analytics unit manager for Allstate Insurance; Richard J. Anderson, DePaul clinical professor of strategic risk management; Anthony J. Carmello, partner – advisory services for EY; Mary Ludford, vice president of audit and control at Exelon Corporation; and Frank Steurer, internal audit director at Molex Inc.
“We obtained experienced panelists for this event who could speak not only to students but also to professionals already out there in the workplace,” says Sandra Waller Shelton, KPMG Distinguished Professor of Accountancy and faculty coordinator of DePaul’s Internal Audit Education Program, who moderated the event.
Because Shelton already knew the panelists and many were familiar with each other, she said the event featured a lively discussion. “It was a great sharing moment. I think the panelists enjoyed it just as much as the participants at the seminar,” Shelton says. “I had several people who attended, including students, faculty and people from industry, who came up to me afterward and said they enjoyed the seminar and the concepts that were presented.”
The panelists touched on the changing role of internal auditing, which is no longer confined to a few large reports a year, thanks to the advent of real-time monitoring programs. Now, the talent management challenge is to find people who have both business acumen and data skills. Having that blend of strategic skills can help internal auditors open the door to future management positions.
DePaul is one of only 14 schools in the United States to be endorsed by the Institute of Internal Auditors for having a comprehensive internal audit program. “Internal auditing is a growing area in terms of recruiting and job opportunities,” Shelton says. “This seminar was an excellent way to highlight our program as well as provide useful information to individuals in the profession and to students.”