Attracting talent with nontraditional skills to audit is the top challenge for audit leaders this year, according to Gartner, Inc. A July 2021 survey of 166 audit leaders revealed that making the leap to more advanced analytics applications, improving IT auditing practices, and providing sufficient assurance over cybersecurity were also serious concerns for audit leaders in 2022.
“Audit leaders continue to experience skills gaps in their departments and are actively seeking to fill those gaps with specialized talent who have data science, IT and cyber skills,” said Leslee McKnight, director, research for the Gartner Audit and Risk practice. “These already-scarce skills are competitively sought after in other parts of the business, so finding them is a particularly acute challenge this year.”
Fifty-seven percent of chief audit executives said that attracting talent with nontraditional skills was an important or extremely important issue for them in 2022. Fifty-six percent flagged the move to advanced analytics as a top challenge, and 53% were concerned about inadequate cybersecurity and IT auditing practices. Other top challenges included providing assurance over critical transformation projects, and the increased complexity of the third-party risk environment (see Figure 1).