The Institute of Internal Auditors is in the process of developing new standards for the internal auditing profession. The first set of these standards will be implemented with effect from 1 January 2002. The purpose of professional standards is to lay down the minimum requirements to be maintained for acceptable practice. In June 1999, a new formal definition of internal auditing was adopted to address relevant issues with which internal auditing is currently faced. Existing standards, when read in conjunction with the new definition, have deficiencies and these deficiencies have led to the development of new standards for the profession.
The purpose of this article is to discuss the limitations of the current standards, to identify the changes incorporated in the new standards, and to evaluate the changes. The article evaluates whether the new standards address the changes in the new definition and highlights the influence of the changes in the standards on the internal auditing profession. The findings are that the new standards are difficult to analyse, especially because the current standards must still be used in conjunction with the new standards, yet the changes successfully address the challenges facing the internal auditing profession.