What Does an Internal Auditor Do?

An internal auditor provides independent assurance that an organization's internal control processes, governance and risk management are operating effectively, according to the Chartered Institute of Internal Auditors. The job involves providing unbiased, objective and constructive views that help companies succeed.

The Chartered Institute of Internal Auditors explains that internal auditors handle issues that are essential to the prosperity and survival of an organization, such as the firm's reputation, growth, impact on the environment and treatment of employees. They offer assurance, which involves informing managers and governors about the effectiveness of the systems and processes designed to keep the company working. They also provide consulting to improve these systems and processes when needed. Internal auditors must be independent from the operations they evaluate.

Internal auditors report to the highest level in an organization's governance structure, states the Chartered Institute of Internal Auditors. Typically, they report to the board of directors, the board of trustees, the audit committee or the accounting officer. Internal auditors talk to the top executives about complex and strategic issues. By evaluating and improving the effectiveness of the company's control processes, risk management and governance, they are able to assure and help board members and senior management fulfill their respective duties to the firm and its stakeholders.