Auditor’s expectations post pandemic and how to reflect sense of reality.
After the rollout of the vaccine and the end of lockdown restrictions, businesses are picking up and hiring into their Internal Audit departments and many candidates seem curious to take the next step in their audit careers.
COVID-19 has quickened audit firms’ adaption toward new ways of operating. Shifting to a remote and flexible working schedule by audit firms and the companies adds a new challenge already faced in adapting the audit to a tech-evolving corporate world and placing new demands on audit professionals. However, new ways of working will bring important benefits as well as posing challenges that have to be addressed.
Traditionally, firms have emphasized personal integrity and professional skepticism in audit professionals, and these attributes will undoubtedly remain vital. But in the new and fast-developing environment, auditors will also need to develop even deeper knowledge of business, a powerful curiosity about technologies and an agile mindset that embraces disruption.
This demonstrates the motivation of both candidates to find a new role and clients to hire into the Internal Audit profession. These figures have also likely been positively affected by the relative ease in which most interviews are now being conducted by video call rather than in-person. While auditors still retain their independence within organizations, they are nonetheless now expected to take a more collaborative, forward-looking approach to Risk Management and Governance. As a result, Internal Audit is increasingly seen as a value-add function rather than a cost center.
In order to achieve the expectation of audit objectives in hybrid environment, it is necessary for the auditor to plan well in advance with the following recommendatory steps.
-Gain an understanding of client business either through documented SOPs, policies to understand its Operations, Compliance and Financial area
-Being adept with trending technologies
-Being able to use the latest audit tools and techniques
-Adapting to the need for agility
-Being able to address regulatory compliance in a changing landscape
-Interdisciplinary approach to audit
-Effective communication skills at all business levels
-Ability to understand emerging technologies
-Ability to predict future challenges
-Ability to take a business-centric approach
-Ability to plan and execute, keeping the big picture in mind
-Ability to integrate adaptability into the audit design
-Ability to increase focus on key risk areas to improve assurance
-Ability to use process mining to analyze data
-Decide on the language to be used for the interview and ensure everyone involved speaks that language.
The auditors need to be more practical and realistic for carrying out audit involving Information Technology as a tool rather than as a barrier.
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