The Evolving Role of the CAE: Taking on Compliance and ERM

By: Margaret H. Christ, PhD, CIA, and Michael Ricci, CPA

Chief audit executives (CAEs) occupy a unique position within their organizations with a comprehensive understanding of a number of business facets, including risks and controls, the company’s long-term strategy, industry sector, and regulatory environment. This knowledge and experience make the CAE an attractive candidate to assume additional organizational responsibilities beyond traditional internal auditing, from risk management and compliance roles to personnel development or conferring on the company’s business strategy.

The Evolving Role of the CAE: Taking on Compliance and ERM explores the benefits and challenges—to the organization, internal audit department, and CAE—of these expanding roles.

  • What responsibilities are CAEs currently taking on outside of their traditional internal audit role?
  • Why have some organizations expanded the responsibilities of the CAE?
  • Does the role of the CAE vary by the organization type (e.g., by sector or industry)?
  • What are the perceived benefits and challenges associated with expanding the CAE’s role?                      

For some CAEs, the challenges associated with having expanded responsibilities are mitigated through various compensating controls and practices. This research describes some of these mitigating practices and how CAEs with expanded roles can continue to strike the appropriate balance between value-added activities and their independent assurance responsibilities.

About the Authors: 

Margaret H. Christ, PhD, CIA, is an assistant professor of accounting at the J.M. Tull School of Accounting at the University of Georgia and has worked as an internal auditor and risk consultant. She has earned several research awards.

Michael Ricci, CPA, is a doctoral student at the J.M. Tull School of Accounting at the University of Georgia. His research interests include internal and external auditors’ multiple, sometimes competing goals.

Item Number: 10.5065

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Publication Year2015
Page Count44
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