5 questions to ask when choosing an internal audit co-source partner

If you’re co-sourcing with an internal audit partner, you know it’s a big decision—and making sure the partner you select meshes well with your team is important. Here are 5 questions you should be asking:   

1. There are multiple service providers—how do I know the best one for my goals? 

Technical qualifications are important—and someone well-versed in day-to-day operations can provide leading practice insights that drive innovation and continuous improvement. But this is just one piece of the puzzle—finding a firm with common values and a strong culture that complements your team ensures a long-term fit.  

2. How can I maintain oversight of the overall control environment?  

Look for a service provider with strong project management capabilities—the right firm will drive governance and communication practices that keep you fully updated on status and any issues that arise.  

3. How do I know if the partner I choose will be invested in maximizing external audit reliance? 

Pressure-test the firm’s knowledge of external audit expectations and methodologies. For example, ask them how they strategize and see if they can provide success stories or case studies from other clients. 

4. How do I update my budgeting approach to reflect a co-sourcing model? 

At the onset, work with the firm to clearly define the scope of services along with any assumptions or dependencies. Find a firm that focuses on outputs (like sites audited, audit reports completed, etc.) instead of inputs (like the number of hours incurred). 

5. How can I gauge a service provider’s commitment to quality? 

All too often, internal audit firms won’t provide efficiency or automation opportunities for processes because it reduces their fees. If they’ve shared any recommendations with you recently, you’ll know they have your best interests in mind.  

Want to learn more about creating an impactful internal transformation strategy? Check out the 3 categories of internal audit automation.

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