Risk in Focus 2020: Hot topics for internal auditors

Risk in Focus 2020 has been published by a consortium of institutes of internal auditors that includes the Chartered Institute of Internal Auditors (UK & Ireland), Deutsches Institut für Interne Revision (DIIR), IIA Belgium, IIA Nederland, IIA Spain, IIA Sweden, Institut Français De L’audit Et Du Contrôle Interne (IFACI) and the Italian Association of Internal Auditors.

Welcome to Risk in Focus 2020. For four years now this report has sought to shed light on key business risks as identified by Chief Audit Executives (CAEs) across Europe.

This ongoing research study continues to go from strength to strength. When it was launched in 2016 it was a collaboration between three institutes of internal auditors. This latest edition is the result of a working partnership between no fewer than eight European institutes of internal auditors and draws upon qualitative interviews with 46 CAEs in Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and the UK & Ireland working in a range of industries.

In the previous edition we introduced a quantitative survey to the report for the first time. The report is becoming a more data-rich offering, with a full 528 responses to this year’s CAE survey compared with 311 for Risk in Focus 2019. This is a resounding endorsement of our engagement with CAEs in the field, providing vital day-to-day assurance, advice and insight to their organisations.

The European institutes of internal auditors would like to thank all interviewees and survey respondents who contributed to the making of this year’s report. We are grateful for your professional input and insights, without which it would not be possible to produce this research study.

The top 10 for 2020:

1. Cybersecurity & data privacy: rising expectations of internal audit

2. The increasing regulatory burden

3. Digitalisation & business model disruption

4. Looking beyond third parties

5. Business resilience, brand value & reputation

6. Financial risks: from low returns to rising debt

7. Geopolitical instability & the macroeconomy

8. Human capital: the organisation of the future

9. Governance, ethics & culture: the exemplary organisation

10. Climate change: risk vs opportunity

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