Why Work in Internal Audit in 2021?



2020 has been a year of great change and necessary technological advancement as remote working and business continuity headed up the bill thanks to COVID-19. Employment has inevitably taken a substantial hit and new graduates and more established professionals alike may be wondering what direction to take in the coming year in light of what the existing one has served up.

A Career in Internal Audit

One of the more resilient jobs on the market, the demand for internal auditors is a constant, no more so than in the current wake of hefty compliance demands on the majority of large organisations. Those enterprises are expected to maintain a robust internal audit function so that risks including cyber security, fraud and a company’s corporate reputation can be managed effectively and mitigated where necessary.

Fraud is a key driver to the demand for internal auditors, the level of which is only expected to increase as cyber criminals take full advantage of the world’s vulnerable state of affairs. Now more than ever businesses need a strong internal audit function in order to ensure their organisation has strong controls in place able to detect financial misconduct or better yet, prevent it from happening at all.

Due to the rise in digitalisation across the global workforce, candidates applying to work in internal audit jobs are expected to possess some degree of fluency with technology as well as its digital platforms and processes. The types of candidates companies are excited by possess both business knowledge and technological skills such as RPA (robot process automation) and artificial intelligence (AI).

Businesses want internal audit professionals who are able to keep up with the many advancements of digitisation and have the skills to utilise the data available. Paying attention to the importance of a company’s online reputation via analytics is one of the primary reasons for this skillset, so candidates should be able to demonstrate a strength with data analytics and data mining on their CV and at interview. Companies want individuals with a proactive approach to their work in order to align with the constantly changing geopolitical and digital landscapes.

Of course, with the wealth of information, data, and resources available online, the premise of working in internal audit is very well suited to this new normal we find ourselves in. Indeed, the notion of remote working has been adopted quickly and successfully by internal audit firms and the financial services sector at large.

Working in internal audit presents a sustainable and lucrative career path, and candidates from entry level position can expect to earn a decent income from the start of their internal audit career. Average UK salaries start from around £33,000 and look to move upwards of £62,000 depending on location, technical skills, experience, and seniority.

So, with 2021 on the horizon, it’s a good idea to be future planning now and future proofing your career to boot.


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