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CEO Message: Cultivating Internal Auditing's Future

Articles Anthony Pugliese, CIA, CPA, CGMA, CITP Oct 09, 2023

As we recognize the accomplishments of Emerging Leaders in our profession in this issue of Internal Auditor, it presents an excellent opportunity to share some of The IIA’s recent developments and initiatives aimed at shaping the future of our profession. Throughout my discussions with internal auditors around the world, cultivating the next generation of leaders consistently emerges as a top priority.

Not only does The IIA conduct research to understand the needs and priorities of college students, we also actively seek innovative approaches to captivate the interest of aspiring internal auditors and demonstrate how a career in internal auditing can fulfill their professional and personal goals.

Last year, the Internal Audit Foundation (IAF) released the Internal Audit: A Global View research report that explored the shifting demographics within our profession. The findings revealed a significant decline in the percentage of respondents under the age of 40, signaling a concerning trend: We are not adequately replenishing the internal audit pipeline. This research emphasized the immediate need for collaborative endeavors to ignite enthusiasm among younger demographics.

To address this issue, The IIA launched several initiatives, including the Global Student Conference, free global student memberships, the Emerging Leaders mentoring program, and the Ignite Conference, all designed for early-career internal auditors. The IAF also has extended its research efforts. In The Internal Audit Talent Pipeline, an upcoming two-part report, the Foundation will explore the factors that contribute to the expansion of the internal audit talent pool by gaining insights from both educators and hiring managers. Part 1 of the series will focus on educators’ perspectives on positioning students for internal audit careers. The second part will delve into internal audit hiring trends of recent college graduates for entry-level internal audit positions. Both parts are scheduled for release in April 2024. By implementing these initiatives and committing to their growth in the years to come, we can ensure a resilient, dynamic, and prosperous future for the field of internal auditing.

Further evidence of The IIA’s dedication to building a strong future for the profession is reflected in Global Board Chair Sally-Anne Pitt’s theme, “Think Different.” This theme underscores the importance of — and our commitment to — thinking differently about our identity, our work, and our methodologies. When it comes to attracting new talent, it means thinking differently about how we recruit, retain, and train the next generation of leaders.

I hope that as we celebrate Emerging Leaders in our profession, we also chart a course that fosters young talent, encourages innovative ideas, and remains steadfast in our principles. Together, we can elevate the internal audit profession to unprecedented heights and create a lasting impact on the organizations we serve.

Anthony Pugliese, CIA, CPA, CGMA, CITP

Anthony Pugliese is president and CEO of The IIA.