Internal Audit – Friend or Foe?

Hagen Lee 13.03.2019

People often ask the question, “is internal audit a good career option?”

Of course it is a sensible question – you should know how happy you should be if you have been offered an internal audit role. Internal audit is a multidimensional role that ranges over every segment that has developed to a key position in organizations. Internal auditors are independent and offer professional views to the top management and board of an organization according to principles of objectivity, integrity, competency, and confidentiality. This is effective in bringing remarkable benefits to businesses, particularly for building businesses and SMEs that intend to formalize their processes and systems.

Basically, auditing has to do with confirming with a precise end goal whether the money related proclamations set up by the organization are right or not. Scrutinizing is compulsory for recorded organizations and it is carried out by the outside reviewer. The question that ponders the minds of people that run smaller organizations is that, “should the already limited resources be spent on internal audit function?” The answer to this question is “yes” Internal audit is a crucial function of all compliance and information security program. It is also a highly valuable tool for effective and appropriate risk management. Are we sure that we do what we say? Are there policy gaps in our business? Are there areas we still need profound improvement? Are we achieving our compliance aims? These are essential questions that are addressed via internal audit.

At this point, you must have understood the great importance of internal audit roles in various industries and companies. Clearly, companies are in need of internal auditors to fit in this significant role. However, it is rational to think of both the pros and cons of internal auditing before accepting an offer for this role. As an internal auditor, you will be providing independent assurance that a company’s internal control processes, governance, and risk management are effectively in operation. The question is what benefits does this really bring to you?

As previously stated, organizations now understand how significant their internal audit function is, and this is due to the increasing regulatory compliance, emerging technologies, and the growing demands from top management. There is an always-existing demand for experienced candidates with knowledge on how to manage internal risks and design appropriate internal audit plan. Focusing on internal audit role puts you in a position where you are in high demand, and can always get attractive job opportunities. The emergence of financial, technology, and operational based risks is inevitable in every organization. Irrefutably, change is constant even in business processes and procedures, and there is need for someone to religiously monitor and re-assess risks that the business is vulnerable to because of changes. 

An internal audit role also puts you in a position where you have broad exposure across the organization, making it possible to understand the business procedures and controls from different angles. This is an opportunity to gain exposure that may be highly beneficial to you in career perspective. Furthermore, the role of internal audit gives you the opportunity to establish and grow relationships with senior stakeholders and build networks within the business. These benefits are quite attractive, but frankly, there is no job or role without its cons.

Accepting an internal audit role means that you are accepting that there may come times that you will be overwhelmed with workload and frequent travelling. There will be times of extensive travelling, especially when the organization has regional branches in the country or around the world. Interestingly, this is rather a benefit to some people that find travelling exciting and attractive. Unfortunately, most people with family and dependents do not fall into this category. 

If you are facing challenges in weighing the pros and cons, feel free to reach out to me for a confidential discussion. We would be more than happy to provide you with our professional advice.



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