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Institute of Internal Auditors


The Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) was founded in 1941 by a small group of dedicated practitioners in the field they identified as "internal auditing." Few individuals at the time were aiding the heads of companies in maintaining sufficient controls for effective operations and for monitoring the quality of financial information processed and reported. The initial group's goal was to encourage competent individuals to consider the emerging field through the provision of educational activities and guidance for the practice of internal auditing. By the beginning of 2006, the IIA had more than 110,000 members.

In 1944 the IIA began publishing Internal Auditor, the magazine that would become one of the profession's leading publications. In 1947 the Statement of Responsibilities of Internal Auditing was issued and became the foundation for development of internal audit standards. The official motto, Progress through Sharing, was adopted in 1955 and continues to guide the IIA's efforts. IIA members approved the Code of Ethics in 1968; and in 1972 adopted a Common Body of Knowledge, which identified the content for the certified internal auditor (CIA) examination offered for the first time in 1973. In 2005 the IIA reached the milestone of 50,000 professionals having received the designation during the CIA's thirty-two-year history.

The IIA Research Foundation, founded in 1976, sponsors research on trends and issues in internal auditing. A tax-exempt 501(c)(3) corporation, it provides and expands research and education for the benefit of the internal audit profession, the business and government communities, and the general public.

In 1978 the International Standards for the Professional Practice of Internal Auditing were approved. Awareness of the importance of university preparation for the profession motivated a pilot program in internal auditing at Louisiana State University. The success of this initial program effort led to establishment of programs in other colleges and universities. By 1999 more than thirty-five colleges and universities throughout the globe were participants in the IIA's Endorsed Internal Audit Program.

Noteworthy developments in the 1980s included: the introduction of the IIA's first computer software product, audit Masterplan; the establishment of the Quality Assurance Review Service; the mandate of continuing professional development for CIAs; and the granting of consultative status to the IIA by the United Nations. The 1990s introduced the Global Auditing Information Network, which compiles and disseminates benchmarking information; the creation of the IIA's official Web site; and the development of specialty groups, services, and products to support membership needs. These include the Control Self-Assessment Center, Certification in Control Self-Assessment, Certified Governmental Auditor Program, Board of Environmental Auditors Certification, and the Chief Audit Executive Services Program.

In 1999 the IIA's board of directors approved a new professional practices framework (PPF). The board also approved a new definition of internal auditing as "an independent, objective assurance and consulting activity designed to add value and improve an organization's operations." The internal audit function is to ensure that an organization meets its objectives through a systematic, disciplined approach to evaluating and improving the effectiveness of risk management, control, and governance processes. The PPF comprises the International Standards for the Professional Practice of Internal Auditing, the Code of Ethics, Practice Advisories, and development and practice aids.

In 2002 the IIA added the financial services auditor group and the certified financial services auditor designations.

The IIA's mission is to provide dynamic leadership for the global profession of internal auditing. Activities in support of this mission include, but are not limited to:

  • Advocating and promoting the value that internal audit professionals add to their organizations
  • Providing comprehensive professional educational and development opportunities; standards and other professional practice guidance; and certification programs
  • Researching, disseminating, and promoting to practitioners and stakeholders knowledge concerning internal auditing and its appropriate role in control, risk management, and governance
  • Educating practitioners and other relevant audiences on best practices in internal auditingBringing together internal auditors from all countries to share information and experiences

The IIA is organized as a nonprofit association governed by a volunteer board elected by its membership. In 2006 the institute had 246 affiliates that served IIA members at the local level, with members in 160 countries and chapters or institutes in more than 90 countries. Volunteer committees support the local chapters, national institutes, and the international board.

In addition to offering a variety of membership options, certification programs, and standards and other guidance, the IIA provides professional development, promotes academic relations, publishes periodicals, offers an employment referral service, generates benchmarking information, provides audit services, and maintains partnerships with other professional organizations.

Additional information is available from the IIA at 247 Maitland Avenue, Altamonte Springs, FL 32701-4201; 407-937-1100 (phone); 407-937-1101 (fax); or,

see also Auditing

Trish W. Harris

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