Vacatures Auditors en Accountants

The future of Internal Auditing: Gardener of Governance

Bron: Rainer Lenz & Kim Jeppesen - 25 april 2022


Internal Auditing is a profession at crossroads. On the micro level, in organizations and institutions, stakeholders may see less and less value in the contributions from internal auditing and on a macro level, this projection jeopardizes the legitimacy and relevance of internal auditing as a profession. The good and bad news is that the future is uncertain. This article suggests five main fields of action and focus for the IIA Global – The Institute of Internal Auditors, its local chapters, internal auditors and academia that will determine the future role of internal auditing, its legitimacy, its relevance and its organizational and societal significance. The purpose of this article is to provide comprehensive content suggesting five concrete paths for the betterment of internal auditing. The five directions that deserve development are planet, public, profession, prosperity and people. Ultimately, positioning internal auditing as Gardener of Governance is a promising metaphor to strengthen its value proposition, both on a micro and on a macro level. Metaphors are an important way to convey ideas and make ideas stick.


The IIA Nordic chapters celebrated their 70th anniversary1 on 8th October 2021. The IIA President & CEO Anthony Pugliese was the key-note speaker that day, speaking about the profession and the Institute going forward. The first co-author of this article, Dr. Rainer Lenz, was invited to speak that day about The Future of Internal Auditing. The presentation was provided online to about 250 attendees from the IIA chapters in Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. There was plenty of positive feedback including “very inspiring messages”, “thought provoking”, “brilliant presentation”, “I loved the quotes and analogies you used and the personal touch you gave it”, “comprehensive content” and so forth and the feedback signaled an appreciation of the metaphor suggested: “Gardener of Governance”. Rainer happily accepted the invitation by the managing editor of the EDPACS journal, Dan Swanson, to summarize the key messages of the presentation in this article, in close cooperation with his co-author, Professor Kim K. Jeppesen from the Copenhagen Business School.

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