A Day in the Life of an Internal Audit Manager
Unlike External Auditors who are concerned with financial statements and balance sheets, Internal Audit Managers offer objective and unbiased advice to ensure risk management, governance and internal controls operate effectively. By focusing on issues such as regulatory compliance, the environment, growth, and employee wellbeing, they help to improve efficiency as well as safeguard corporate reputations.
Internal audits are not regulated, so Internal Auditors have more flexibility than their external counterparts in how they gather and disseminate information. A well-designed internal audit can highlight areas for improvement to ensure an organisation is competitive and compliant, and the responsibility for providing the information required to accomplish these goals also resides with the Internal Audit team.
Job adverts for Internal Audit Managers list responsibilities such as addressing non-compliance issues and supporting new system requirements, but what does this entail?
Being an Internal Audit Manager is incredibly varied, but a typical day might start with checking emails. After sifting through the inbox and responding to anything urgent, it is usually time to move on to the first meeting in the calendar. Meetings take up a considerable part of the day, and most are scheduled to review work or present audit results to senior management.
Of course, these audits need to be designed, conducted, and written up in the first place, and time is also spent reviewing documentation. This includes looking at work papers, and reviewing audit findings and reports. In some instances, responsibilities also extend to consulting engagements and fraud investigations in the event of suspected malpractice.
The job is fast paced and unpredictable, so auditors must be able to respond to the unexpected. If something serious comes up that needs addressing right away, even the best laid plans can go awry and the day that was planned goes out of the window entirely.
Although there are no external clients to deal with, there is a high level of interaction with different people who work within the business itself. This might include department heads, the board, the audit committee, and various middle managers. This means that Internal Audit Managers must do more than just deliver the work that has been assigned to them, they need to have good people skills too. On any given day they might find themselves conducting interviews, negotiating with colleagues, analysing information, being creative, setting KPIs and displaying sound judgement.
Internal Auditors play a massive part in helping organisations to reach their goals by evaluating risk, preventing fraud, and improving efficiency. It is immensely satisfying to identify improvements and implement solutions that ensure they happen. Starting salaries are generous - in the range of £40-60K in the UK - and there is a clearly defined career path with plenty of scope for progression.
If you are a good critical thinker and communicator looking for a career that presents opportunities to offer strategic input at a senior level, then becoming an Internal Audit Manager could be the right fit for your skill set.