Auditors have inside track

WHAT does a day in the life of a senior internal auditor entail?

Every day is different. It can vary from analysing policies, procedures and processes to reviewing the effectiveness of controls, discussing processes and findings with the business managers and writing reports.

Why did you decide on this career?

I have always liked to help people and ensure that things are done according to defined processes.

When I learnt about internal auditing I decided this was what I would like to do. This was based on the proactive nature of the profession - combined with the sense of satisfaction one would achieve from being able to see the value one has added to the organisation.

How did you get into this career?

I started off as an external auditor. After having "discovered" internal auditing I decided to pursue the profession and I never looked back.

What's challenging about the job?

There is a lack of understanding relating to an internal auditor's role.

There are negative perceptions and one is viewed as a watchdog, or a policeman, whose aim is to get people fired. As a result it is difficult to get the employees of the organisations being audited to cooperate.

What do you enjoy the most about it?

Seeing your recommendations being implemented and adding value to the organisation.

What type of person will make a success of this position?

Someone honest and with integrity and an analytical mind. Someone who pays attention to detail, has the ability to really listen to people and at the same time to be outspoken.

What subjects do you need to pass in high school to be able to study towards this career?

Mathematics is a prerequisite at most institutions. Good marks in English will definitely come in handy.

What does one study at tertiary level to be able to get into this career?

At a university of technology there is a national diploma in internal auditing and at most universities you would study towards a degree in auditing.

What growth prospects are there for this career?

There are lots of prospects in this very young profession, since most - if not all- companies - require the services of an internal auditor.

One can be employed within an organisation as their internal auditor.

But some companies outsource the service to specialist companies that provide internal audit services as their core business.

What career opportunities exist for an internal auditor?

Internal auditing is a relatively new sector and as a result there are many opportunities that exist. Internal auditing has become a requirement for most companies and the government sector,.

The Public Finance Management Act and Municipal Finance Management Act specifies that all organisations must undergo internal audits.

Within private companies that have adopted the King Report, it is also a recommendation that internal audits are carried out within the organisation.

What is the starting salary for an internal auditor?

It varies from organisation to organisation. There is no set standard. You can either be employed on a permanent or contract basis.