One of the features that makes internal auditing so valuable to modern enterprises is that we serve multiple stakeholders, including the board, various levels of management, and even external auditors and regulators. Conventional wisdom is that internal auditors should align their coverage with stakeholder expectations. But the fact is that the various stakeholder groups rarely agree on where internal should be focused to add value.
Differences of opinions among internal audit stakeholders are sometimes subtle, but trying to satisfy everyone can become particularly problematic if the disagreement is between the audit committee and management. In such cases, the chief audit executive (CAE) can feel caught between two very powerful forces.