273542_l_srgb_s_glThe Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) presents its international conference annually, alternating between North America and other global locations. Last week, the 2014 IIA International conference was in London.

SAP was there to officially launch our new SAP Audit Management solution. I was there to help with the launch, to attend as many sessions as I could, and to meet as many delegates as possible in order to understand the market for our newest governance, risk, and compliance (GRC) solution.

It has been at least 10 years since I have attended this event, and I was impressed with the tremendous energy and optimism of the delegates. Internal auditors are often criticized for living in the past, but the clear focus of this event was the future.

A Critical New Role for Internal Audit

Beginning with the opening address, the clear focus of the conference was on the future of the profession, the challenges facing internal auditors and the need to adapt to and use technology to meet the challenges.

One of the surprises for me was the focus on integrated reporting and the opportunities it presents and the surprising video that opened the conference from Charles, Prince of Wales. He made an articulate and compelling case for the promotion of integrated reporting and for the specific role that internal auditors can play in its success. (Watch the whole video.)

I was able to speak to a number of delegates from around the world. Here are several compilation videos of what internal auditors told me.

  • The state of the internal audit profession today: I spoke with a number of internal auditors about their impressions of the opening general sessions on July 7. They held a wide range of views and responded favorable about the conference. (Watch the full video.)
  • The challenges ahead for internal auditors: Delegates shared their views with me on the challenges facing the profession in the future. (Watch the full video.)
  • Internal audit and technology: I asked Paul Sobel, IIA Chair, and Andrew Chambers, winner of the coveted Bradford Cadmus Memorial Award, as well as a number of other delegates, to share with me their thoughts on the role of technology in internal auditing. (Watch the full video.)

My Conference Take Away

The internal auditing profession is thriving and adapting to change. The future looks bright. SAP Audit Management is being launched at a time of tremendous change for a profession that seems to thrive on innovation.

What are your thoughts on the profession and its future? Please share them with me.