Internal Audit jobs in Financial Services
2018 is underway and with a new year comes new expectations for how the financial services sector will operate, particularly in light of impending regulatory changes such as the GDPR due in May. Understanding where the internal audit function fits into those expectations is vital to those working within the area or looking to apply their skillset to an auditor role.
Undoubtedly there exists a greater emphasis on regulatory compliance, particularly in areas relating to fraud such as Anti-Money Laundering (AML). Depending on which country an internal auditor is dealing with, each has its own requirements when it comes to regulatory and compliance standards applied to trades and exchanges taking place within the banking space. Auditors need to understand those requirements in order to be able to facilitate the trade.
Which leads on to the brand of knowledge and expertise required of candidates applying for internal audit jobs in financial services. In addition to the prerequisite technical skills necessary for working in internal audit, recruiters in the area advise that industry insight where products, including wealth and asset management are concerned is also important, in addition to effective communication and presentation skills and the ability to manage difficult stakeholders, speaking to them in a language they can relate to minus the technical jargon.
Expertise expected for internal auditors working in financial services also extends to proficiency with the growing use of data analytics. A key component in conducting financial services audits, especially with the volume of trades now occurring and the amount of data that’s used; data analytics calls for candidates with excellent computer literacy skills and the ability to be able to extract and analyse efficiently and comprehensively. Business auditors within financial services will also need to arm themselves with the know-how to run IT general control reviews (ITGC), as the face of audit continues to evolve.
Areas of growth concerning financial services audits include project assurance, with employers more and more needing their project audit team to create clear and effective templates for projects to run by in order to ensure the bank is adhering to a cost-effective, time conscious and appropriately scaled model which is also relevant to the purpose of the business. Project auditors are difficult to find so honing your experience in this area could be a lucrative move.
Further areas of growth include cybersecurity, with banks looking to employ the right people to audit areas such as App security, network security, web security and cloud security; as well as risk. The internal audit function must act across all lines of defence in order to pick up any weaknesses or deficiencies within those key areas so as to make the bank aware before they become problematic. In a lot of ways, audit within banking has become more of a business partner role in its evolution to become central to project management, change management and implementation.
Furthermore, a trend that is starting to emerge is a need for cultural assimilation. Banks, while retaining some element of external recruitment, are promoting from within, wanting to bring internal talent on from technical areas such as credit risk, for example, to work within the internal audit team. That internal mobility is largely to do with banks’ need for workers who possess the right culture fit for their organisation and perhaps the start of culture audits themselves as banks and businesses try to get beneath the surface of what makes one individual a more comfortable fit over another of equal technical standing.