As new EU audit reforms come into effect and new regulatory and compliance guidelines continue to place additional demand on the workload and responsibilities of UK businesses, the remit for the audit function widens considerably.
With the financial services sector claiming the lions share when it comes to corporate audit opportunities in the UK, audit professionals should expect their role to encompass the reporting of both a client’s financial state of affairs as well as the business’ areas of vulnerability when it comes to external and internal risk factors. In the current economic climate too, it is the obligation of the corporate audit team to ensure their client is complying with statutory regulations and to implement the controls that have become a prerequisite of modern business to stay ahead and relevant in an increasingly competitive market place.
Typically corporate auditor jobs are offered in-house within large companies, specifically where the corporation’s EMEA headquarters are located. With regards opportunities at big multinational firms in the UK, for now candidates can rest assured that vacancies and hiring potential are functioning as they were pre-Brexit, though of course there is the possibility of corporate auditor roles opening up in European locales if operations in the UK become too expensive.
Alternatively, those looking to enter the corporate audit world would be best suited to the breadth of opportunity and experience offered by the Big Four. Audit is central to the operations at PwC, Deloitte, KPMG and EY, which all present a lucrative launch pad to a career in corporate audit, with individuals having the opportunity to gain exposure to Audit, Tax, Corporate Finance and Consulting.
With no one entry route into corporate audit, opportunities in this space are essentially open to anyone with a financial or business-focused mind. Newly qualified auditors coming from any number of backgrounds will find their skills and experience sufficient to apply to the corporate audit function. Though those working in the field do advise that the more diverse your skillset, the more attractive you become to employers. Dependent of course on the industry sector you are hoping to work within, it is wise to research your chosen area to understand the expertise expected. For example, according to a corporate auditor we spoke to at JP Morgan, the financial services sector demands candidates with particular knowledge and skills such as Anti-Money Laundering (AML) due to the highly regulated nature of the sector.
Corporate auditors at the mid-way point in their career should consider up-skilling as they look ahead to moving into high-growth areas of business. Meanwhile, those at the more junior end of the scale are encouraged to look beyond the capital for corporate audit jobs, as companies increasingly look to transfer their shared service centres to regional areas of the UK, as a more cost-effective approach to housing their accountancy and finance operations, thus creating opportunity for ambitious candidates.