The internal audit function has been enjoying a far more prevalent profile over the last couple of years, undoubtedly due to the increased regulatory environment, however when it comes to trainee internal audit jobs there is some shortfall in available talent.
Companies struggling to draw in those candidates recently qualified in accountancy are more and more sourcing potential employees internationally. While many of these candidates come without the necessary ACA or similar accreditation, companies are satisfied with their experience and application of the transferable skills required for the trainee internal audit role.
Within the UK market, the financial services sector is by far the more lucrative choice for trainee internal audit candidates who can command a starting salary of £55-60k per annum with an average 10% increase expected year on year. This in comparison with trainee internal audit jobs in commerce and industry which would see a candidate of the same standing look to start on £47-50k per annum. Where the difference lies between the two sectors is in career progression. While opportunities within commerce and industry may not have evolved in quite the same way as banking and finance, which has done so in response to tougher guidelines from government regulators; employers across commerce and industry are much more concerned with individual ambition and growth. Trainee internal audit jobs thus pose the ideal entry route to progress into the wider business and finance functions.
For trainee internal auditors working in Hong Kong and Singapore, regulatory knowledge is a key requirement to securing a job. As for the opportunity to move through a company’s global ranks, these opportunities are few and far between, particularly at junior level, the exception being multinational firms, which are more likely to offer mobility on an international scope.
For professionals looking at launching their career in the UAE, the job market is strong for accounting and finance professionals; however candidates need to bear in mind that employers are setting ever more demanding criteria for new hires. So to secure a trainee internal audit position candidates must be able to prove their worth not only when it comes to technical expertise for internal audit but also their capacity for soft skills, such as effective communication across all functions within the business and foreign language skills.
What employers are ultimately looking for in their trainee internal audit hires are individuals, not necessarily just toting the relevant qualifications, but able to show a knack for effective communication not limited to their core discipline. Knowledge and experience of the newer information technologies filtering through the market will definitely add an edge, though it is not a prerequisite.