If you find the world of accounting to be interesting and want to pursue a career in this sector, you may at some point have asked yourself: “What is an internal auditor?” Below you will find an answer to this question and several others that pertain to the field of internal auditing.
Internal Auditor – A Brief Overview
An internal auditor is an individual who provides an objective, independent assessment of how efficient a company’s operations are, especially its internal control structures. Internal auditors help optimize the functioning of the organizations that employ them by providing them with a disciplined, systematic way to evaluate and subsequently improve the efficacy of their governance, control, and risk management processes. The realm of internal auditing is broad in scope and can include detecting and deterring fraud, IT controls, compliance with regulations and laws, and the efficacy of operations. By conducting operational and compliance audits, some internal auditors provide their employers with solutions for their internal control weaknesses while also verifying that their current rules and regulations are adhered to.
There are several different types of internal auditor positions. Some of them include:
Entry-Level Internal Auditors
An entry-level internal auditor possesses the basic attributes and skills necessary to carefully analyze a business’s goals, operations, and processes. Some of the essential job functions these individuals will perform include gathering and analyzing company records in order to ensure compliance with established regulations and laws. Entry-level internal auditors will also prepare and summarize findings reports. Generally, individuals who want to obtain entry-level positions within this sector will earn a bachelor’s degree in order to do so. Preferably, the degree will be earned in a relevant field such as computer science, business administration, finance, and accounting.
Senior Internal Auditors
These individuals are responsible for understanding the organizations that employ them in order to effectively offer value-adding solutions. They must also be familiar with best practices for the industry. To help maximize the financial functions of their employers, senior internal auditors will work with the management staff in order to mitigate any risks while also monitoring internal controls. Typically, individuals who want to attain this position must earn a bachelor’s degree as well as three to five years of experience within the field.
Internal Audit Managers
Internal audit managers are responsible for assisting in the planning, testing and execution of internal audit activities. They also monitor and examine their employer’s existing system of internal controls so that it can be optimized. Internal audit managers also supervise on-staff auditors. Typically, individuals who want to work as internal audit managers will obtain a bachelor’s degree as well as several years of relevant experience.
Irrespective of the specific job title that an internal auditor holds, there are certain types of knowledge that they will be expected to have. Some of them include:
- Industry standards
- Internal controls
- Compliance, risk, and governance
- Financial statements
- International Professional Practices Framework (IPPF)
- Sarbanes-Oxley Act
- Computer applications/functions
According to Indeed, an internal auditor will earn an average annual salary of $72,000. This salary is subject to change based on factors such as education, expertise, and location.
Related Resource: Financial Analyst
If you have given any consideration to the pursuit of a career in accounting, you should note that becoming an internal auditor can be personally and professionally rewarding. Now that you know what an internal auditor is, you can decide whether pursuing a career in this sector would be right for you.