Roles, Objectives, and Responsibilities of External and Internal Auditors

Internal auditors execute their roles within the organizations employing them. Their   works is continuous. The work is hinged on the organizations’ internal control systems. External auditors are not employees or associates of the organizations they audit. External auditors’ objectives are commonly set by particular statutes while the objectives of internal auditors are set out by their organizations’ managements. External auditors, unlike internal auditors, seek to examine, as well as assess, all aspects of the systems of the organizations that hire them. Internal auditors focus on the aspects pinpointed and highlighted by the managements. External auditors, unlike internal auditors, seek to add reliability and credibility to organizations’ financial reports, which are sent to the organizations’ stakeholders.

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Internal auditors are charged with the evaluation, as well as enhancement, of the effectiveness of their organizations’ risk control and management processes and governance. They have a duty to provide their organizations’ managements with insights, as well as assurances, which assist them execute their mandates in the organizations (Chambers & Rand, 2011; Giove, 2012). Besides, they have a duty to assist the managements fulfill own duties to the organizations’ stakeholders. Internal auditors assist in the designing of their organizations’ operational systems and particular risk management strategies and policies (Power, 1999). They ensure the effective implementation of the strategies and policies. As noted earlier, external auditors are charged with adding reliability and credibility to the financial reports that organizations issue to their stakeholders.

Internal auditors are responsible to the organizations employing them, particularly to the organizations’ managements. On the other hand, external auditors are responsible to statutory agencies, the public, and the managements of the organizations in question. Internal auditors are responsible for improving their organizations’ systems through the appropriate facilitation, coaching, and advising of the organization’s managements. On the other hand, external auditors have no such responsibility as much as they are duty bound to report the problems in the records they appraise.

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