Businesses face more risks than ever before, and the consequences quickly are becoming apparent, according to the “2012 PwC State of the Internal Audit Profession” study. As a result, stakeholders in the power and utilities sector are demanding increased internal audit involvement in risk identification and management.
Global economic uncertainty tops the list as the biggest perceived risk to companies in 2012; however, utility respondents highlighted regulations and government policy as their top concern, followed by energy and commodity costs, followed by economic uncertainty. In addition, 94 percent of utility respondents stated that risks to their organizations are increasing (compared with 84 percent of all respondents), yet other significant risks also have emerged, and businesses are asking internal audit to play an increased role helping companies navigate the rapidly changing risk landscape.
These survey results pinpoint heightened stakeholder expectations for many areas upon which traditional internal audit functions have not focused, such as talent and labor, new-product introductions and economic uncertainty.