Does exist an internal strategy that can create value? An empirical analysis of the Italian context To create value the internal auditing (IA) functions should define a strategy taking into account the characteristics of the external and internal environment and the expectations of the IA stakeholders. It does not exist a "one best way" to create value, but the IA strategy should be defined and implemented considering the specific contexts in which the IA functions operate. This is the main finding that emerges from the empirical analysis the authors have carried out in cooperation with the Italian Institute of Internal Auditors involving 78 CAEs (Chief Audit Executives). Other important research findings show that the IA function performs more the assurance engagements than the consulting activities. Moreover there is a growing use of audit software, data analytics and data mining tools to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of IA process and finally the IA carries out a wide range of auditing activities to meet the various expectations of an increasing number of stakeholders.
Keywords: Internal auditing, strategy, audit plan, value creation