I think it is time for a rebrand of the profession.
Internal audit is a terrible name for it. It refers to a location which many functions are not located in. It then references the means and processes it uses rather than the outputs. It is true that many other professions refer to themselves by the verb or what they do. Doctors do doctor, accountants do account, managers do manage.
But people generally know what the positive benefits of these activities are. They are not clear about internal audit. As any head of audit who has ever interviewed a new graduate applying for an internal audit role and got the answer to the question, what is internal audit? ‘well, it’s the opposite of external audit’, will know.
I have worked primarily in internal audit functions during my career, but I have also been able to rebrand my own function to ‘business assurance’ as well. In my view this is not only outputs rather than inputs focused, it is positive and working with the rest of the organisational team focused. It also reflects the breadth that a modern internal audit function has, to cover all business risks, not just financial or operational ones.
Perhaps I just need to be patient and wait for the passage of time to establish the profession in the way that accountancy and medical professions did in the 19th century. Perhaps it just does not matter whether people have any real clue what the profession is, as for marketing.
Either way the profession has a really positive, vibrant, relevant, business offering and we should look to shed the tweed jacket wearing, amateur, tickbox approach the profession started out with. Will you rebrand?