Interested in a career in internal audit?

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Internal auditors work in many different sectors and types of organisation. Take a look at some of our members below who are sharing insights into how they came to be in internal audit and what they enjoy about the role.

Bukkie Adewuyi

Bukkie Adewuyi is the Head of Internal Audit at Prospera Credit Union in British Columbia, Canada

content Bukkie Adewuyi internal audit [square]With a degree in Accounting and part CA exams completed, I started out with PwC Nigeria in 2003 in Tax and Corporate Advisory Services. Over time, I worked alongside the external audit team on due diligence assignments for the ongoing bank mergers in Nigeria and took part in financial advisory work, compiling monthly accounts for corporations and undertaking process/controls redesign for the merged banks. Upon relocation to an office that didn’t have tax services in South Africa in 2005, I chanced upon Internal Audit and fell in love. Prior to this, my main knowledge of Internal Audit was through the process/controls redesign work in Nigeria. I was not aware there was a designated career along such lines. I have since enjoyed this diverse field of audit, risk, governance, and other related aspects. 

It has been over 16 years of being in this field and what I love about internal audit is the variety and diversity of the work. I have not encountered two audits that are the same, even when conducted over time, in the same organisation. You must continuously think outside the box, anticipate risks, review how controls are designed to manage the risks and compile a suitable assurance or consulting engagement that will bring value to stakeholders. 

I also love the fact that our work is premised on strategy, we therefore direct our approach with the aim of assisting the organisation with achieving core objectives. The linkage of strategy, risks and performance is a key component of the work we do and that is the cornerstone of any progressive organisation.

As an auditor, we have audience with various stakeholders, the board, executive management, the regulator. I love these interactions and the knowledge that our work is relied on for key decision-making.

The Internal Audit profession is evolving as the business landscape evolves. Technical skills in technology risk, business, automation, and data analytics as well as soft skills in communication, persuasion and collaboration are becoming critical success factors for the modern-day internal auditor.

Annabel Faulkner

Annabel Faulkner is a senior consultant within Enterprise Risk at EY

content Annabel Faulkner internal audit [square]How did you come to be in Internal Audit?

I completed my undergraduate degree in Accounting and Financial Management and then a postgraduate degree in Management and Leadership, therefore the professional services industry seemed as if it would be the right fit for me.

I knew there were a variety of roles and career avenues within professional service firms, although I had not come across Internal Audit before. A friend, who was an internal auditor, discussed her role with me which piqued my interest and so began my career in Internal Audit.

What do you enjoy about being an internal auditor?

I love the variety and unpredictable nature of the role, and that I am constantly learning something new. As an internal auditor, it has been fantastic to get exposure to senior individuals in organisations early on in my career, and I particularly enjoy the social aspect of getting to speak with a diverse range of people in numerous different roles.

I also enjoy that being an internal auditor gives you the unique opportunity to gain a broad understanding of an organisation, learning how it works and providing insight into how it can improve; all of which provides great job satisfaction!

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Ifeanyi Callistus Okonkwo

Ifeanyi Callistus Okonkwo is an independent consultant

content Ifeanyi Callistus Okonkwo IA [square]How did you come to be in Internal Audit?

Though I have so far enjoyed my present career, yet I mostly find it difficult to explain how I got to my present career. Sounds awkward but true. Starting off a thriving semi-professional footballer, I had not for once imagined I would become a professional accountant until it happened. Persistent injury forced me out of active professional sports and into professional accounting studies.  

I worked in several finance roles working mainly in practice, legal and financial services sectors but never envisioned I would ever become an internal auditor. I missed out on a senior financial reporting role which I had interviewed for only to be called in by the same employer and offered an internal audit opportunity instead. Though it was a completely bizarre situation, it has so far turned out to become the most desired career path for me. 

What do you enjoy about the role or what do you enjoy about being an internal auditor?

The wealth of knowledge and experience I have built up from the various aspects of the role may not have been possible outside of this career path. Reviewing internal control systems and processes, risk management frameworks, identifying internal control process weaknesses and providing recommendations for improvement etc. are some of the attributes of the role that keeps me interested and motivated.

The best part for me is the opportunity to liaise with individuals across different levels within the organisation from senior management to junior staff members. The role not only presents the right kind of daily challenge, I get a huge sense of achievement from providing crucial support to senior management in achieving overall organisational objectives.

Zainab Kazmi

Zainab Kazmi is an internal auditor at ACCA

content Zainab Kazmi AI [square]How did you come to be in Internal Audit?

One of my university lecturers explained how interesting internal audit was, and that it was a fantastic way to truly understand an organisation and its various components. That was it. I knew I had to start my career in Internal Audit so once I graduated, I trained as an Internal Auditor at Deloitte and have been working in Internal Audit since.

What do you enjoy about the role or what do you enjoy about being an internal auditor?

I’m a curious person and I love learning about other departments and people within the organisation. Internal Audit allows me to ask lots of questions without being classed as ‘nosey!’ Each audit is different, which encourages constant learning and I enjoy adding value and strengthening controls through the work I do. Occasionally, I travel to audit offices in other countries, which is always a bonus!

Tom McGovern

Tom McGovern is the Control and Compliance Manager at Volvo Financial Services

content tom mcgovern AI [square]I took my first role within Internal Audit whilst studying for my ACCA qualification anticipating that it would be a relatively short-term position before moving back into a more finance-based role, but over 15 years later I am still happily working in controls and governance!

I have always enjoyed the diversity of working in Internal Audit – it is one of the few roles in an organisation where you get to work with all the key business areas and build up a strong understanding of the key drivers of performance and risk. In larger businesses this may mean understanding the business on a global scale, and in the past, I’ve had the chance to work on reviews across several countries. This gave me the opportunity to experience working in different cultures and was a great learning experience.

There are some key challenges in Internal Audit, including ensuring that focus areas and approaches taken remain relevant. We’ve seen a paradigm shift in the past 18 months in business models and related risks, so it is vital that Internal Audit reflects those changes in terms of focussing on the current key risk areas and carrying out reviews in more flexible ways that still provide robust assurance.

Strong communication is also vital. Day to day we now receive so much information is so many effective forms, that we have higher expectations around effective communication and the same applies to audit report recipients. The basics around clear, concise and consistent messaging still apply, but many teams are now making great use of tools such as live dashboards.

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