Practice Guide: Evaluating Corporate Social Responsibility/Sustainable Development

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Practice Guides provide detailed guidance for conducting internal audit activities. They include detailed processes and procedures, such as tools and techniques, programs, and step-by-step approaches, as well as examples of deliverables. Practice Guides are part of The IIA's International Professional Practices Framework. As part of the Strongly Recommended category of guidance, compliance is not mandatory, but it is strongly recommended and the guidance is endorsed by The IIA through formal review and approval process.


CSR presents significant risks and opportunities for many organizations. Stakeholders expect boards and management to accept responsibility and implement strategies and controls to manage their impact on society and the environment, to engage stakeholders in their endeavors, and to inform the public about their results. The proliferation of regulation and voluntary standards has made CSR management a complex endeavor.Internal auditors should understand the risks and controls related to CSR objectives. Where appropriate, the CAE should plan to audit, facilitate control self-assessments, verify results, and/or consult on the various subjects. Internal auditors should maintain the skills and knowledge necessary to understand and evaluate the governance, risks, and controls of CSR strategies. This guide will assist internal auditors in understanding the following:

  • The risks (operational, reputational, etc.) associated with CSR activities and how to use such knowledge in audit planning
  • The approaches to evaluating CSR activities, including auditing, facilitating, and consulting
  • Audit considerations such as use of the audit opinion, independence and objectivity, and types of resources
  • Considerations in developing the internal audit program, including whether CSR information is consistent with standards and how management communicates and sets priorities for CSR strategies

The guide also explains detailed approaches to auditing in the following appendices:

  • Auditing by Element
  • Auditing by Stakeholder Group
  • Stakeholder Theory
  • Additional Resources (references to additional practice guides and IIA seminars) 

Item Number: 10.1185

Picture of Practice Guide: Evaluating Corporate Social Responsibility/Sustainable Development - PDF
Practice Guide: Evaluating Corporate Social Responsibility/Sustainable Development - PDF
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