Reflections on the 2016 IIA International Conference


As I looked across the conference floor at the IIA International Conference in New York last week, I am amazed at the changes in the internal auditing profession and the institute. In 1997, only 25,000 people had earned the certified internal auditor (CIA) designation from the IIA, but the number now stands at more than 140,000 globally.


The IIA also continues to be more globally focused. It was in 1990 that the CIA exam was available in Spanish and French to reflect its growing demographics, and today there are more than 100 IIA institutes worldwide.


Attending sessions and meeting with people on the show floor, I had a real sense of the changes in the profession. There were people of all ages, experience levels and nationalities in attendance. The CaseWare IDEA team had a chance to meet with many existing customers and people who have a keen interest in leveraging data analytics to change the way that they are doing internal audits.


We are fortunate that CaseWare IDEA customers are a loyal crowd. Many of them dropped by to tell us how they liked the intuitive nature of the product and the fact that you don’t have to write scripts to get the insights you need. At the same time, many who are new to data analytics or are using tools that are not meeting their needs, like Excel, came by to inquire about how Discover and Visualize in IDEA 10 can be used in their day-to-day jobs.


But there is still much to do within the profession. According to the PwC State of the Internal Audit Study (2014–2016), in 2016 only about 57% of companies believe internal audit is performing well at leveraging data analytics and technology. This is a small increase from the 2014 levels, which stood at 51%. Organizations need to leverage technology to make their internal audits team more effective and comprehensive.


The good news is that the adoption of data analytics is on an upward trend. There are many resources available to those who are looking at getting started with a data analytics program, including technology courses offered by the IIA as well as courses on using CaseWare IDEA. It will be interesting to see the role of technology in the internal audit profession at next year’s IIA International Conference in Australia!


Looking to learn more about CaseWare IDEA and how to get started with a data analytics program? Contact us to find out how we can help you get started.



About Bob Cuthbertson:

Bob Cuthbertson brings a wealth of accounting, auditing and technology experience to his role as Chief Operating Officer at CaseWare Analytics. Prior to starting the analytics division of CaseWare in 2000, initially as CaseWare IDEA Inc., Mr. Cuthbertson was Vice President, Professional Services, of The Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants (CICA). Mr. Cuthbertson is also a CPA (Ontario) with a specialty in Information Technology (CITP), granted by AICPA, and holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from Queen’s University School of Business.

Connect:  Bob Cuthbertson