Internal Audit Strategy: Focus area two – setting a strategic planning framework

23 May 2022

Five key focus areas of our new three-year Internal Audit Strategy

For Internal Audit Awareness Month this year, we’re sharing details of our new strategy for 2021-24.

After the introduction and spotlight on focus area one, we now explore focus area two in detail: setting a strategic planning framework.

What are the five focus areas?

These are the main content of our Internal Audit Strategy, and represent the vehicle for delivery of our mission-critical objectives.

Veritau's internal audit strategy - five focus areas: Increasing client engagement / Setting a strategic planning framework / Redesign and modernisation / Developing data analytics / KPIs and added value

Focus area two: Setting a strategic planning framework

Effective strategic planning allows us to position ourselves to be able to achieve internal audit’s remit: to help organisations succeed.

This focus area has two strands:

  1. The further development of assurance mapping
  2. Development of a framework to support our annual opinions

Assurance mapping and an opinion framework go hand-in-hand.

Completion of each benefits the other and helps to avoid assurance gaps and overlaps, and also demonstrate how we’ve added value as an internal audit provider.

Strand one – assurance mapping

Development of assurance mapping requires us to be in tune with our clients and have a clear line of sight into the heart of their organisation.

Enhancing our strategic planning framework will primarily be driven by further development of assurance mapping and its integration into flexible, risk-based planning. This will draw on local, regional and national issues and risks.

This focus area will be naturally complemented by efforts in increasing client engagement (focus area one).

Strand two – annual opinions

We see arrival of an opinion as not only the culmination of our work for the year but also a launch pad for future work.

Therefore, a framework for forming annual opinions is integral to planning.

We recognise that more can be done to look at the “bigger picture” in determining our annual opinions. This includes looking to other sources of assurance.

Connor Munro is managing focus area two

Connor leads on our risk management service and holds the IRM’s Certificate in Enterprise Risk Management.

He’s a perfect fit to be delivering focus area two of our strategy, which brings risk-based audit planning to the forefront.

Internal audit strategy planning framework - image of Connor Munro: "Modern internal audit providers can no longer simply set out a rigid plan of internal audit engagements and deliver them. This focus area is key to delivering our objectives around true risk-based planning and value delivery. It’s only by being flexible and keeping pace with risk that we can earn our position as trusted advisors."

Action plan

Ultimately, the end goal is to provide assurance on areas of greatest risk and importance to our clients.

Our action plan for this focus area includes:

  • Creating an assurance mapping ‘group’ – dedicated auditors from our team
  • Developing an assurance mapping template
  • Establishing a process for reflecting on internal audit strategy delivery
  • Refreshing the current approach to risk-based audit planning
  • Establishing a pilot assurance mapping project
More focus areas…

Recap our spotlight on focus area one, or head to our blog series for Internal Audit Awareness Month to read more about our strategy and explore all five areas.


One-page summary of our strategy

View or download the "on a page" summary of our Internal Audit Strategy 2021-24

File type: pdf

File size: 541KB

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