Collaboration between risk management, internal audit valuable: Report

Mike Tsikoudakis

The collaboration between the risk management and internal audit functions within an organization increases the overall value of risk management to stakeholders, according to a new report released Wednesday.

The report, “Risk Management and Internal Audit: Forging a Collaborative Alliance,” was jointly released by New York-based Risk & Insurance Management Society Inc. and Altamonte Springs, Fla.-based Institute of Internal Auditors and features four case studies highlighting the benefits of such an alliance, according to a joint statement.

The case studies, which include different approaches to forming alliances between risk management and internal audit departments, feature Cisco Systems Inc., Hospital Corp. of America, TD Ameritrade Inc., and Whirlpool Corp.

“In the end, risk managers and internal auditors have many of the same stakeholders—boards and executive management, and these stakeholders want to maximize resources while effectively managing risk,” said Hal Garyn, vp of North American Services for IIA, in the statement.

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Common goals, responsibilities

Risk management and internal audit departments often share common goals and responsibilities in regards to enterprise risk management and other risk management activities, which can often lead to confusion and hinder collaborations, according to the report.

However, clearly defined roles for risk managers and internal auditors can elevate risk management and each department’s overall value to the organization.

For example, as internal audit departments assess the effectiveness of an organization’s risk management program, risk management provides the effective techniques and methods to manage the risk.

Complementary roles

“The risk management and internal audit roles are complementary. An overarching common goal is to position organizations for successful achievement of their respective missions and business objectives,” said Carol Fox, director of strategic and enterprise risk practice for RIMS, in the statement.

“Having these vital risk management and assessment functions collaborate, speak the same language and leverage one another’s perspectives on the business is crucial. The sum is truly greater than their parts,” Mr. Garyn said in the statement.

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