Internal Audit - part of your Career Pathway

Sep 26, 2019

The role of the internal auditor is becoming increasingly important for providing organisational oversight and assurance as well as strategic insights to help mitigate risk and to support organisational change and transformation.

Internal Audit is well established as a distinct career path for Chartered Accountants and members specialising in this field currently enjoy a growing market for their sought-after skills.

So how can a stint in IA benefit your career? ….

Being an Internal Auditor often allows you to leverage the audit skillset you developed during your traineeship in practice although you only have one single organisation as your ‘client’ and this often delivers a sense of belonging and familiarity. You learn to identify real business risks – financial and operational – and to effect change and you get to see the results of your advice. If you want to make a difference to a business, and understand it from the inside out, a spell in internal audit provides a good opportunity. Indeed, the CVs of many senior finance and business leaders include a two/three-year period in internal audit somewhere along their career journey.

Key elements of an IA career path can include:

➤ IA is often seen as a steppingstone into finance operations and the business within larger multinationals and corporates. In some companies, experience of internal audit is a ‘must’ for career development. Many plc’s offer secondments from internal audit into other business teams as part of the key talent development process.

Personal development becomes a feature of an IA role with self-awareness, business acumen, effective communication, social awareness and conflict resolution skills among the qualities mentioned by business leaders as important when meeting stakeholders at all levels and when working with different nationalities and cultures.

Travel can often be a feature of an IA position enabling you to understand different cultures and work practices first-hand. Internal audit provides the opportunity to develop and use language skills in a practical way.

Financial & Operational  - Usually an IA professional’s remit will include operational and financial elements to the audits which lends a real world commercial dimension to the role where you get to understand your colleagues roles and build relationships across divisions as well as developing commercial acumen as you examine processes and ways of working.

Typically, the Top 500 Employers in Ireland (per the Irish Times 1000 list) is where you will find most Internal Audit teams (Financial services sector and Industry). Equally, Big 4 and Top 10 practices maintain a strong demand for high calibre additions to their Internal Audit Service offerings to clients.

Contact Dave Riordan (ACA) 01 6377251 for further information on Internal Audit as your ACA Career Pathway.