Share with your friends

Video: The future of internal audit

Video: The future of internal audit

Katie Clinton, UK Head of Internal Audit, explains why softer skills and business acumen are key to internal audit’s future role.

Katie Clinton

Partner and Brexit Head of Internal Audit & Risk Compliance Services Lead

KPMG in the UK


Also on

Internal audit will have a huge role helping businesses deal with change and uncertainty. It needs to understand commercial realities, issue constructive but firm challenges to risk orthodoxy – and develop outstanding communication and influencing skills.

How should audit committees, heads of internal audit and senior executives shape the function for the business journey ahead? 

For KPMG’s UK Head of Internal Audit Katie Clinton, the challenge has three dimensions: influence within the business; the context for growth; and internal audit’s own skill-set.

Challenge the business

  • Internal audit must be able to probe assumptions about risks and opportunities. It has to be robust – markets are becoming more unforgiving. 
  • Credible challenges to the business have to be informed by commercial drivers, but also industry trends, economic data and even global events. IA must work ever harder to earn the respect of operational colleagues.

Evaluating opportunities

  • The skills and disciplines of internal audit are brilliantly suited to assessing opportunities as well as risks. The future of internal audit is as much performance optimisation as risk mitigation.

Open minded, multi-skilled

  • Agile, tech-driven businesses require more diversity of skills and experience from their internal audit team. New tools and techniques within internal audit – such as high-end analytics and machine learning – demand new skills.
  • The ability to communicate on multiple levels is key – soft skills will come increasingly to the fore. Internal audit must wield influence, which means creative dialogue with the board, management and frontline staff.

© 2020 KPMG LLP a UK limited liability partnership and a member firm of the KPMG global organisation of independent member firms affiliated with KPMG International Limited, a private English company limited by guarantee. All rights reserved.

For more detail about the structure of the KPMG global organisation please visit

Connect with us


Want to do business with KPMG?


loading image Request for proposal