Accountants could have a limited future in internal audit because of their lack of the business skills needed to comply with the Turnbull report on corporate governance, writes Lucinda Kemeny. The stark warning was issued by Deloitte & Touche national audit technical partner Martyn Jones. He said that Turnbull marked a 'watershed' in the internal audit profession and questioned whether accountants could survive under the new regime. 'There are a lot of accountants in internal audit but will that trend continue when the largest risks to a business are those of an operational nature?' Jones said in a lecture to internal auditors at the English ICA this week. Internal auditors would also have to be able to relate more easily with the boardroom because Turnbull provided a clear framework for directors, he added. The Turnbull corporate governance report says companies with year-ends on or after 23 December should be well on their way to establishing the procedures necessary to comply fully by next year. It has deliberately placed a greater burden on directors to manage risk, a major shift from previous practice that allowed internal auditors a great degree of independence from the board. 'The time has come where internal auditors will have to sacrifice their own risk agenda and make sure we are working as a team to focus on the board of management,' said Jones.
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