In any organization, internal auditor responsibilities are defined according to the objective of the audit activities. Your internal auditors perform a specific role in assurance, as well as in quality and risk management.
The internal audit function adds value by improving your organization’s existing work processes. According to the Institute of Internal Auditors, internal audit accomplishes this objective by conducting a “systematic, disciplined approach to evaluate and improve the effectiveness of risk management, control, and governance processes.”
If your organization is undergoing an internal audit for the first time, it’s crucial that your internal auditors are well-trained and equipped. Your organization has to be fully prepared for the audit to ensure a smooth process.
Whether you decide to outsource your internal audit function or hire internally, you have to make sure that your internal auditors understand the following concepts.
1. Internal audits involve building and managing relationships.
Besides the technical skill, character and soft skills are important for internal auditors. Performing an audit involves building rapport with people from different levels in the company, and so communication skills will play a big role in your auditor’s success.
More importantly, it’s crucial that they have the right mindset when it comes to the audit. Rather than be a fault-finder, it’s better to maintain a helpful attitude, wanting to genuinely help the business find out how it can do better.
2. Be inquisitive and know what questions to ask.
Frequently, internal auditors may face business processes that they are not familiar with. As such, they should know how to ask good questions that will help them better understand the process. In the process, internal auditors will learn and grow in their profession. As they become more familiar with the ins and outs of the business, they will be ready to handle bigger internal audit responsibilities.
3. Planning for the audit is half the battle.
Imagine a soldier walking into a battlefield without a clue as to who or where the enemy was. Would he even have time to ask his comrades “Good day, who are we fighting against today”? Most likely not.
In an internal audit, it’s critical to invest time in planning. Every auditor should have a thorough understanding of their auditees’ processes and procedures so that they can zero in on what should be prioritized. The auditor should be knowledgeable enough to take off his auditor hat when what the client requires is a consultant who can help them get to the root cause of an ineffective control.
Want to know how you can expand the capabilities of your finance and accounting team as they take on internal audit responsibilities? With help from D&V Philippines, you can leverage your internal finance and accounting department by outsourcing your internal audit functions, as well as your accounts payable and receivables. Through BPO accounting services, you can achieve more without having to increase your headcount.
Interested to learn more? Read how Maxum Foods, a leading supply chain management company based in Australia, benefited from their decision to outsource their management accounting processes.
Click the image below to read the case study.