The global president and CEO of the Institute of Internal Auditors spoke about the IIA’s future strategies during a recently-held talk entitled ‘Internal Audit: Poised for Future’.
Richard Chambers was in Doha to deliver a presentation before a large gathering of auditors in Doha and also signed his award-winning book ‘Lessons Learned on the Audit Trail’. 
He also met with former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Energy and Industry, HE Abdulla bin Hamad al-Attiyah, who chairs the Abdulla bin Hamad Al-Attiyah Foundation for Energy and Sustainable Development and the Qatar Financial Centre CEO Yousuf al-Jaida.
Chambers, who has more than 40 years of internal audit experience, is a globally-respected thought leader for the profession and was named by Accounting Today as one of the ‘Top 100 Most Influential People in Accounting’ and one of the most influential leaders in corporate governance by the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD).
His presentation provided an overview of the IIA’s worldwide reach, which now spans more than 185,000 members from 170 countries and territories. The Middle East experienced nearly a 20% growth in membership from 2015 to 2016, ranking it as the fastest-growing region for the organisation. The IIA also has seen “tremendous growth” in its flagship certification, the Certified Internal Auditor (CIA), which has increased 35% over the past four years.
According to Chambers, internal auditing’s emerging trends are “very encouraging,” with the Common Body of Knowledge (CBOK) global practitioners survey indicating improvement in staffing, budgeting, and reporting status. 
The CBOK survey, produced by The Internal Audit Foundation, revealed that internal audit time devoted to critical areas: risk management assurance (43%), strategic business risks (42%), and corporate governance (31%).
“The stakeholders want internal auditors to raise the bar by participating in major organisational change initiatives. The process of earning a seat at the table begins long before you can pull up your chair. It starts with you building a trusting relationship with the organisation’s board and management,” Chambers said.
Chambers also introduced his upcoming book, “Trusted Advisors: Key Attributes of Outstanding Internal Auditors,” scheduled for release in early 2017. The book, based on the perspectives of Chambers and an array of other leading internal auditors around the world, provides insights into the traits that characterise outstanding internal auditors and those who have earned a “seat at the table.”
IIA-Qatar president Hassan al-Mulla thanked Chambers for his visit, while board member Sundaresan Rajeswar described Chambers’ presentation as “exhilarating, exhaustive, and thought-provoking.”
“It contained global perspectives and insights with emerging trends, study on the voice of the customer, and the CEO’s own foresight on key strategies for the future for internal auditors,” Rajeswar said.