Can anyone become an internal auditor?June 19th, 2023 By Amywright
Today’s rapidly evolving landscape has forced industries worldwide to respond to shifting quality standards and regulatory compliance laws. A key player in this transformative journey is the internal auditor, whose demand has skyrocketed as businesses rush to modernise and streamline their operations. An essential part of this process is ISO certification, which encompasses a range of environmental, financial, and technological factors. Ensuring compliance and maximising efficiency have always been pillars for success, and now is the time to act. This blog details how and why internal auditors are integral to business growth, describing the skills and knowledge required to become one.
What is an internal auditor?
Internal auditors are catalysts for a business’s development. They ensure everything is in order through meticulous audits and inspections and are responsible for shedding light on the vital questions of who, what, where, when, and why. By conducting independent, objective evaluations evidenced by facts and past practice, auditors bring clarity and insight to propel organisations upward and onward.
Required skills and knowledge
Internal auditors require comprehensive knowledge of various principles, practices, and analyses to achieve successful outcomes. They handle multiple areas, including, but not limited to:
- Risk assessment: Internal auditors assess risks by analysing operations, processes, and systems. These assessments get conducted with the organisation’s best interests in mind, especially those relating to safety, efficiency, and mitigation of potential hazards.
- Financial acumen: Auditors must be well-versed in accounting principles and financial analysis techniques, using up-to-date knowledge to inform fraud identity and correct careless cost management. They must also be able to scope how an organisation can amend any monetary or accounting issues. Internal auditing can work financial wonders for an organisation’s finances, reducing overheads and maximising profits simultaneously.
- Audit methodology: Internal auditors must be proficient in planning and scoping audits, carrying out fieldwork, gathering relevant evidence, and conducting audit testing. They must document their work according to applicable guidelines and standards.
- Critical thinking and problem-solving: Internal auditors must possess strong analytical skills to audit proficiently. To ensure all aspects of an audit get approached objectively, they must think and enact considerately and carefully. Adeptness in communicating with management and proposing possible solutions is also essential.
- Internal controls: Any auditor will inevitably encounter internal controls, so they must be proficient in managing and implementing them. ‘Controls’ refers to the measures adopted by an organisation to manage and mitigate risks, ensure compliance, and achieve operational objectives.
Training and qualifications
Auditors typically require relevant education, professional certifications, and real-world experience. Like with any career, the specifics are highly dependent on the jurisdiction, the level of the position and the organisation undergoing the internal audit.
Many internal auditors hold a bachelor’s degree in accounting, finance, business administration, or a related field. For more senior positions, some organisations may demand a master’s degree in a relevant discipline. Relevant certificates include, but are not limited to:
- CIA (Certified Internal Auditor), which is a highly regarded credential of authority
- CPA (Certified Public Accountant), which an internal auditor focusing on financial auditing would likely have
- CRMA (Certification in Risk Management Assurance), which is a globally renowned certificate for those auditing IT business systems
- CISA (Certified Information Systems Auditor), which is a globally renowned certificate for those auditing IT business systems
- CFE (Certified Fraud Examiner), designed for those detecting, deterring, and investigating fraud
Internal auditors must be highly qualified and possess a rich tapestry of expertise in the field, with the most capable having accumulated many years of diverse and varied experience accompanied by relevant certificates and academic qualifications.
Develop your skills
Want to sharpen your skills? IMSM offers comprehensive internal auditor training tailored to help professionals enhance their knowledge and continue their success in the field. We provide internal auditor training on the following courses:
If you’re interested, contact us today to book your place on one of our courses.
For a free quotation or remote presentation by an ISO specialist, contact us today!
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