The Three Must-Have Soft Skills for Internal Auditors
Whether you are a seasoned auditor or just starting in the profession, learning new skills is important to anyone who wants to take their career up the ladder. However, the evolving industry requires more than just the traditional skills expected from internal auditors. Soft skills are now becoming more relevant to the work of auditors.
Below are the top soft skills relevant to the work of modern and effective auditors:
The internal audit was once an isolated activity in the company. Auditors come in and out of the organization, take a look at records, and provide the organization’s audit committee with the findings and the audit report. However, the increasing complexity of the audit process, tougher public scrutiny, and modern regulations have placed pressure on the audit committee. They now work closely with auditors to produce better results in the audit activity.
Aside from which, auditors also work closely with some members of the organization in order to find out more about their processes and discover errors along the way. The increasing degree of interaction between the auditors, the audit committee, and the rest of the organization require effective communication and cooperation in order to produce the best audit results.
For their part, auditors must develop communication skills as they conduct interviews and present their findings to the audit committee. Having great communication skills not only makes it easier for you to get the information you need, it also helps in getting useful information across to the audit committee. Remember that as an auditor, your main job is to let the management know how they can reach the organizational goals in a faster and more efficient manner. Enhancing your communication skills will help you explain your inputs to the committee and turn them into much more actionable ideas.
With the increasing need for auditors to reach out to the rest of the organization, it is necessary for auditors to learn how to build and maintain relationships with people from different backgrounds. Building strong professional relationships among your peers and within the organization you audit will help you conduct your audit with minimal resistance. It is also necessary for auditors to help the members of the organization to feel comfortable and that you are there to help them improve their work and not just to point out their mistakes. Doing so will lead them to be more cooperative and honest during the audit process.
3. Leadership and Project Management
Audit firms are not just looking for the best talents with the technical knowledge and skills to join their ranks. Leadership skills and potential now form a big part of their hiring decision. Firm managers are searching for professionals who can supplement the technical needs of their team and serve as their protégé who can help them in their leadership roles in the future.
Effective auditors invest time in studying different leadership styles and key project management skills in preparation for their future. They will also not hesitate to take on the leadership role, should the need arise. Being goal-driven individuals, these professionals recognize what they need to do for them to achieve their dreams. Having this orientation provides them with the right attitude in the conduct of their audit work.
As technology integrates itself further in the audit industry, soft skills and people skills are becoming as relevant as the technical knowledge and expertise needed to excel in the profession. Remember that the best auditors are well-versed in every aspect of their job, including the soft-skills that are often neglected.