Are you interested in becoming an IT auditor? Here’s what to know
Internal Auditors who typically focus more on financial and operational audits are now required more and more to focus also on IT Audits.
This week we take a look at the skill sets required in order for you to transition your career to become an IT Auditor.
Are you interested in becoming an IT auditor?
Here’s what to know:
Skills required for becoming an IT auditor.
There are both hard skills and soft skills that recruiters look for when sourcing talent into junior IT audit roles. Typically, strong candidates hold at least a bachelor of science (B.S.) in Computer Information Systems, Information Technology, or another similar major. They also have a technical understanding of IT environments, are proficient in Microsoft Office, and ideally have experience with an auditing tool such as Audit Command Language (ACL) or an audit documentation application.
Candidates can also be set apart by relevant work experience whether it is an internship or a couple of years in a technology-related entry-level role. Many employers look for an industry-recognized certification, such as ISACA’s Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) or Certified Information Systems Manager (CISM). Top soft skills that make an IT auditor candidate desirable are being able to successfully influence others (process owners aren’t always quick to agree to an internal audit issue!), translate complex information security concepts into business language that is understood by non-technical management, and present audit issues to an executive audience.
Responsibilities of the role
First off, there are two types of IT auditors – internal and external. An internal IT auditor works for a public or private company and assesses the internal controls of the organization they work for, with the main purpose of helping strengthen the control environment. An external auditor typically works for a consulting firm or partnership and assesses the control environments of other organizations, usually public companies which have associated regulatory reporting requirements.
While both roles mostly have the same responsibilities, there are some minor differences. Key duties that are relatively similar include scoping the audit plan, interviewing process owners to understand their control environment, collecting evidence, selecting an appropriate population of samples, performing testing on the selected samples, and documenting test results. The biggest difference is that for the internal role, findings and issues are reported to the organization’s management and for the external role, findings and issues are reported to the client that hired the consulting firm or partnership to perform the audit.
Benefit on becoming IT auditor
Internal audit is a great career choice for many reasons. In the job market, one cannot recall a recent time when auditors were not in great demand. Regulatory requirements that need the work that an internal audit department performs are only increasing, especially in the technology and cybersecurity space. The internal audit function is a transferable skill across industries, meaning even if you start your career in IT audit in the financial services industry, many of the concepts apply to other corporate industries as well – manufacturing, consumer goods, insurance etc, so the job mobility is high.
There is the choice between internal audit and external audit, and although as we covered earlier slight differences do exist between the two, most of the responsibilities and necessary skills overlap. Just because you start as one, doesn’t mean you cannot easily switch to the other. Lastly, and arguably most importantly, the work an auditor performs is crucial to the success of an organization. Both public and private companies need to be focused on a strong control environment that reduces risk. Why? The occurrence of control failures may result in the loss of customer trust, negative financial impact, or broken operational processes. Any of these can damage a company in both the short and long term.
Audit International are specialists in the recruitment of Auditors and various Corporate Governance Professionals including Internal Audit, Compliance, IT Audit, Data Analytics etc across Europe and the US.
If you would like to reach out to discuss your current requirements, please feel free to reach us on 0041 4350 830 59
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