The world has changed. 2020 was an unprecedented year for all professions. Internal auditors were faced with a tremendous impact to their audit plans causing refocus and realignment of not just projects but resources. As a profession, internal auditors have traditionally focused on past events or as some would say, taking the “look in the rear-view mirror. Most financial or accounting professionals can look at previous year data and tell management where past mistakes were made.

With the evolving landscape, risks and economy that have been spurred on by the pandemic of 2021, internal auditors must look to stretch their skills to areas that are most valued by their organizations. Today's insight may well be tomorrow's hindsight.

Stakeholders seek to navigate the future more than revisit the past or dwell in the present. We need to concentrate on the risks of tomorrow if we are to not only protect but enhance value for our organizations. We must start looking beyond the horizon to identify emerging risks.

This is part one in a four-part series in which we will take a deep dive into the individuals suggested risk areas. In this session we will examine three areas of focus and some of the most impactful risks that Internal Audit should focus on during the new normal.

  • Heightened Focus on Organizational Resilience
  • Elevated Macro Environment Uncertainty
  • Humanization vs. Dehumanization of the Workforce


After reviewing these areas, we will then link them to “Hot Spot” topics as identified by the Gartner group that internal audit should be attuned to in 2021 and years forward. Within each part, as we delve into the hot spot areas, we will discuss internal audit’s role and objectives as well as potential audit tests that should be considered when evaluating the particular hot spot.

This session begins by examining the three focus areas previously listed and then begins to delve into the first two Hot Topic areas of IT Governance and data governance.

Learning Objectives
  • Identify and examine the impact of COVID on Internal Audit Focus Areas.
  • Discover and understand the three key themes for internal audit focus.
    • Heightened Focus on Organizational Resilience.
    • Elevated Macro Environment Uncertainty.
    • Humanization vs. Dehumanization of the Workforce.
  • Explore and evaluate and identify procedures for specific internal audit Hot Spots.
    • IT Governance.
    • Data Governance.
Last updated/reviewed: August 13, 2023

Included In Certifications

This course is included in the following Certification Programs:

28 CoursesInternal Controls and Internal Audit Certification

  1. Internal Audit Standards Overview
  2. Internal Audit Standards - Managing Internal Audit Work
  3. Internal Audit Standards - Executing the Audit Engagement
  4. Identifying and Implementing the Proper Balance of Internal Controls
  5. Documentation Methods For Internal Control Processes
  6. Segregation of Duties for Core Business Processes
  7. Foundations for a Strong Internal Audit Department
  8. Internal Audit Management - Top Skills
  9. Internal Audit: Keys to Managing an Effective Function
  10. Understanding Risk-Based Auditing
  11. Risk Based Auditing – Establishing a Methodology
  12. Risk Based Auditing – Applying the Methodology
  13. Cyber Risk Frameworks And Concepts
  14. Information Technology (IT) Controls in Emerging Business Environments
  15. Fraud Risk Assessments
  16. Professional Skepticism - Keys to Maintaining
  17. Introduction to Forensic Accounting
  18. The Fraud Triangle
  19. Internal Audit Effective Relations with the Audit Committee
  20. COSO 2013 Overview
  21. COSO 2013 - Operational Execution
  22. Internal Audit Emerging Risks for 2021 and Beyond - Part 1
  23. Internal Audit Emerging Risks for 2021 and Beyond - Part 2
  24. Internal Audit Emerging Risks for 2021 and Beyond - Part 3
  25. Internal Audit Emerging Risks for 2021 and Beyond - Part 4
  26. Internal Audit Challenges During Times of COVID
  27. Tools for Internal Control Certificate
  28. Lessons of an Auditor- Tools for Internal Control Certificate
20 Reviews (105 ratings)


Anonymous Author
Good discussion about IT and IT Governance and how Internal Audit shops can contribute. In my organization, cybersecurity threats are a big issue; a proper approach by internal audit will greatly help in keeping the company safe.

Anonymous Author
This course provides an understanding of the need for contingency planning and how internal audit is affected and appropriately responds to contingent situations.

Anonymous Author
Very good and timely course. It is amazing to see how the heightened focus discussed in the training matched what my company is actually doing.

Anonymous Author
This is an excellent course from Lynn Fountain! The real-life scenarios and current event considerations bring life to the topic.

Member's Profile
I am enjoying these internal audit updates. So relevant and timely and is consistent with what we are finding in our own audit shop.

Member's Profile
Given the current environment in which we operate in comparison to pre-COVID environments, this was very informative and helpful.

Anonymous Author
As the country and world emerge from 2020, the information is beneficial in refocusing the IA strategy and risk evaluation.

Anonymous Author
Good overview of internal audit after pandemic. The sections were easy to follow and the documentation was helpful.

Anonymous Author
Enjoyed the class, I always find this instructors classes helpful and the information she provides is well sourced.

Anonymous Author
Having been out of the workforce for several years, this course is a good update on trends in IT risk areas.

Anonymous Author
The course is refreshing. Nothing surprised me. This training will be beneficial to everyone in my opinion.

Member's Profile
This training is very timely and well presented. I look forward to completing the series.

Member's Profile
Great pile of information. The lecturer explains everything smoothly and clearly.

Anonymous Author
Knowledge of emerging risk categories is important to my continuing education.

Anonymous Author
Good deep-dive analysis of emerging risks. In 2022, it's still relevant.

Anonymous Author
this is a very good course for beginner level internal auditors.

Anonymous Author
good presentation- like that it is segmented into various parts

Anonymous Author
easy to follow, great information, presented well...........

Anonymous Author
Difficult course to understand. Need to add more examples

Anonymous Author
Good overview, documentation, presentation, and content.

Course Complexity: Foundational

No advanced preparation or prerequisites are required for this course. However it is recommended to take other Internal Audit Emerging Risks for 2021 and Beyond course series by Lynn Fountain.
Internal Audit Emerging Risks for 2021 and Beyond - Part 2
Internal Audit Emerging Risks for 2021 and Beyond - Part 3
Internal Audit Emerging Risks for 2021 and Beyond - Part 4

Education Provider Information
Company: Illumeo, Inc., 75 East Santa Clara St., Suite 1215, San Jose, CA 95113
Contact: For more information regarding this course, including complaint and cancellation policies, please contact our offices at (408) 400- 3993 or send an e-mail to .
Instructor for this course
Course Syllabus
Introduction and overview
  Introduction to Internal Audit Emerging Risks for 2021 and Beyond - Part 17:49
  COVID Impact and Internal Audit Focus Areas11:08
  Internal Audit Recommendations6:36
  Heightened Focus on Organizational Resilience10:16
  Elevated Macro Environment Uncertainty7:46
  Humanization Vs Dehumanization of the Workforce4:33
  Internal Audit Activities Hot Spots7:52
  IT Governance Framework8:32
  IT Governance Internal Audit Risk Focus5:59
  Data Governance5:27
  Internal Audit Emerging Risks for 2021 and Beyond - Part 11:18:19
  Slides: Internal Audit Emerging Risks for 2021 and Beyond - Part 1PDF
  Internal Audit Emerging Risks for 2021 and Beyond - Part 1 Glossary/IndexPDF