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Internal Audit: Vision 2035 Creating Our Future Together

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Over the span of 12 months, the Internal Audit Foundation embarked on a collaborative journey, interacting with internal auditors, stakeholders, and individuals external to the profession to create a comprehensive and integrated vision of the profession’s future.

The discoveries from the Vision 2035 project offer a distinctive viewpoint on the current state and future aspirations of the profession.


In the coming decade, the internal audit profession will undergo a major transformation driven by accelerating technological advancements, significant disruptive trends, and emerging risks.

This transformation will be characterized by changes in how organizations operate, the need to expand the profession’s talent pipeline, and an increase in the profession's capacity and credibility in the eyes of stakeholders to audit new and emerging risks.

How different will the role of an internal auditor be in the future?

Over half of survey respondents expect the role of an internal auditor to be substantially or very different by the year 2035.

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The Internal Auditor of the Future

In a future shaped by technological innovation and collective efforts to address global challenges, the role of internal auditors will evolve into that of strategic advisors.

The strategic advisor operates within an ecosystem of interconnected digital platforms, offering real-time advisory and assurance consultations through virtual and augmented reality environments. This visionary professional utilizes quantum computing and advanced analytics to provide robust, evidence-based assurance and forecast future organizational trends with unprecedented precision. Their holistic approach blends cutting-edge technology with deep risk and controls expertise, ensuring boards not only receive accurate and strategic advice and assurance, but also insightful and personalized guidance to thrive in an ever-changing world.

As the nature and scope of audits evolve alongside the emergence of new risks, internal audit's ability to enhance an organization’s capacity to create, protect, and sustain value must also adapt accordingly. By 2035, internal auditors across all levels, industries, and organization types will have the competencies and full support of stakeholders to navigate new risks and changing audit landscapes with confidence.


The internal audit profession faces exciting opportunities, many of which can assist it in overcoming current challenges. Some of these opportunities include:

Harnessing new technologies

of survey respondents agree that new technology is key to helping internal audit add more value.
agrees that experienced internal auditors will need to strengthen their technological knowledge to remain relevant.

Preserving independence and objectivity and educating about their importance

of all professionals said their organizations understand the importance of independence.
of respondents’ organizations moderately understand its importance.

Changing the balance of services to succeed in tomorrow’s realities

There is an expectation from internal audit professionals and stakeholders that the amount of time spent on assurance services will decline from


Thus increasing advisory from


Cultivating leadership and stakeholder support and clarifying the role and purpose of internal audit

50% reported being misunderstood or undervalued represents the greatest challenge for the profession. Further, 45% indicated need for more support from leadership and stakeholders.

Greatest challenges facing the profession

Shifting current perceptions to align with the desired future

While over half of survey respondents think internal audit is viewed as compliance-focused and independent, 48% also think internal auditors are regarded as the organization’s police.

How internal audit is viewed now

What internal auditors are most excited about

Leveraging internal auditors’ enthusiasm for adding value to the organization

75% find that the chance to add value is the most exciting aspect of the internal audit profession.

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Building Future Readiness

To be future-ready, it will require collaboration among internal audit professionals at all levels, strong support from stakeholders, and a forward-thinking mindset.

The IIA is dedicated to advancing the profession globally and commits to leading the way to achieve Vision 2035 by:


For the profession as an indispensable part of good governance with regulators and other key stakeholder groups.


The profession through the IPPF Evolution, including the Global Internal Audit StandardsTM and enhancing visibility of the Certified Internal Auditor® credential.


Practitioners and stakeholders by offering world-class learning opportunities and events, as well as providing research and thought leadership publications.


With educators, students, and related academic organizations to increase awareness of the profession and its value proposition.


Project Participants: A Worldwide Effort

Individuals actively participated in all research phases.
Individuals actively participated in qualitative research efforts.
Individuals participated in the online global survey.
13% Europe North America 31% Latin America 15% Caribbean 3% Africa 23% Middle East 2% Asia Pacific 13%

Survey participants' profession or role

Employed as an internal auditor
Retired internal auditor
Internal auditor in transition
Employed in a non-internal audit profession
Audit committee or board member

The Internal Audit Foundation also sincerely thanks IIA staff and the following groups and individuals for their collaboration and dedication to Internal Audit: Vision 2035

  • Warren Stippich, CIA (Chair)
  • Farah Alruwaily, CIA
  • Maria Craig, CIA, QIAL
  • Marthin Grobler, CIA, CRMA
  • Yulia Gurman, CIA
  • Helen Li, CIA
  • Philippe Mocquard, CIA
  • Ruth Doreen Mutebe, CIA
  • Jim Romero, CIA, CRMA, CCSA
  • Stephen Tiley, CIA
  • Massimiliano Turconi
  • Bauman Research and Consulting
  • Knapp and Associates International


The Internal Audit Foundation thanks the following partners for their generous support:

Silver Partners

Grant Thornton

IIA Institute and Chapter Partners

The IIA Greece


Additional Resources from The IIA

Explore The IIA’s courses, webinars, training, and articles aligned with the findings of the Vision 2035 survey. Internal auditors can gain valuable CPE credits and upskill in critical areas for the future of the practice. Filter and browse to find the right resources & learning opportunities for you.