01 Feb The Evolving Role of the CAE: Taking on Compliance and ERM

Year of Publication: 2015
Author: Margaret H.Christ, PhD, CIA, Michael Ricci, CPA

Chief Audit Executives (CAEs) occupy a unique position within their organisations, with a comprehensive understanding of risks and controls, as well as their company’s long-term strategy, its industry, and the regulatory environment. This knowledge and experience make the CAE an attractive candidate to assume additional organisational responsibilities beyond traditional internal auditing, from risk management and compliance roles, to personnel development or conferring on the company’s business strategy.

his report explores the benefits and challenges—to the organisation, internal audit department, and CAE—of these expanding roles.

  • What responsibilities are CAEs currently taking on outside of their traditional internal audit role?
  • Why have some organisations expanded the responsibilities of the CAE?
  • Does the role of the CAE vary by the organisation type (e.g., by sector or industry)?
  • What are the perceived benefits and challenges associated with expanding the CAE’s role?


For some CAEs, the challenges associated with having expanded responsibilities are mitigated through various compensating controls and practices. This research describes some of these mitigating practices and how CAEs with expanded roles can continue to strike the appropriate balance between value-added activities and their independent assurance responsibilities.