Posts Tagged “audit information”

It’s become a truism that the ‘new normal’ as the world emerges from Covid-19 lockdown will not, and cannot, be like the old normal. But what does this mean for internal auditors? What skills will be most in demand and what can you do about it if you do not feel that you have enough of these at the moment? Audit International have all these answers and more.
As in other areas of the wider economy, many of the skills that are going up in value and demand (and those that are going down) reflect longer term trends that have been exacerbated by the crisis. A strong suite of technical auditing skills now puts more emphasis on so-called ‘soft’ skills and less on some traditionally prized abilities to sift and process information, although independent judgment, logical reasoning and analysis will always be important.

IT auditing is becoming an increasingly specialist preserve that is beyond the scope of most internal auditors, however many employers now expect all internal auditors to have a strong grasp of the basics of data analytics and of what analytics programmes can do for audits and assurance. This IT-savvy must go hand in hand with a wide imagination about the potential uses of the technology and how it can be employed more effectively.
What is new, however, is that ‘soft’ skills and IT experience are no longer nice-to-haves. Whereas a few months ago, there was a shortage of internal auditors in many sectors, now employers are likely to be able to pick and choose. The post-Covid landscape is likely to be bleak for many sectors and internal auditors will not be immune. There will be redundancies and people will need to look more broadly at their CVs, personal skills development and, possibly, at the options available to them in a wider range of sectors.

Russell Bunker, director at Barclay Simpson, says that the highest demand is currently for “experienced internal auditors operating at the delivery level”. Fewer organisations are hiring senior audit managers or trainees, he says. However, he added that a number of fixed-term or interim job opportunities are emerging and there are new jobs appearing as a consequence of an increase in co-sourced internal audit work. Some of these trends may be short-lived, of course, and may reflect temporary bans on permanent hiring.

So, what are the key skills internal auditors will need to thrive in the short and longer term?
1. Communication is key
Emotional intelligence may not have always been top of the list for internal auditors, but it’s hardly a new requirement. Internal auditors have to be great communicators – if you cannot talk to people – and, just as importantly, listen to them – you can neither learn from them nor persuade and influence them.
As computers take on ever more of the analysis side of auditing, we need humans who understand how people operate in real life, what makes them tick? Internal auditors need to pick up the nuances to spot when things may be wrong behind the scenes. They need to use the right language to relate to the people they need to get on their side or to persuade people to change the way things are done and to understand the need to better governance. And they need to be able to convey important messages simply and effectively. This is not always about being ‘nice’ – it’s about being effective. Some of these messages may be tough and they need to be understood and acted on.
It’s also about being able to demonstrate the behaviour that you preach. Actions really can speak louder than words.

2. Business acumen
This has always been important, but is becoming ever more so. Internal auditors see the whole of the business from the inside, but they also need to be able to look beyond it, and beyond their sector and region, if they are to appreciate emerging risks and the bigger picture. They need to understand what keeps their CEO awake at night – and, even more importantly, what should be keeping him or her awake at night.
Increasingly, they are being expected to know a lot about the potential impacts of everything from macro economics to climate change and the complexities of supply chains. Sourcing and reviewing the most up to date and reliable information is vital, but you also need the acumen to know how this could affect your business and to spot the risks and opportunities. Those who do not display this knowledge will not gain the respect internal audit needs from senior management to be effective.

3. Flexible and agile
Speed is of the essence. How can you offer assurance more effectively, more rapidly and more effectively? This is the holy grail of internal audit and will become even more so in the post-Covid landscape. Technology can help, but it takes people to think about how they can use it better. Those with the imagination and the drive to improve, adapt and change will be most valuable to, and valued by, management.

4. Personal relationships and networking
Use your personal relationships and find out what peers, colleagues, friends and family are doing. Be curious and ask questions. This is partly about being well-informed and partly about good communications. There are loads of ways to keep in touch so use them – from social media to Facetime to old-fashioned phone calls. You never know what may come in useful in future but the broader the net, the more you are likely to benefit.

5. Proactive – use your imagination
Imagination and curiosity are now so important that they deserve a mention on their own. Again, they are not new skills for internal auditors, but they have never been more important. You don’t need a formal mentor to tell you to think about where you want your career or your audit team to be in six months’ time. But it can help to take some time out of your normal routine to practise thinking more imaginatively. Many things in the near future will need to change and someone will need to identify potential changes and the ways to achieve them.
Equally, imagination is an important part of effective communication. What are your auditees doing and why? What are they going through? What do you want them to be doing in future – and how can you help them to get there?

6. Sell, sell, sell
It’s been said that everyone is selling something – and if they say they’re not, they’re lying. Selling has a bad reputation in the UK. It’s seen as duplicitous and bad-mannered. However, sales skills are just as vital for good ends as for bad. Internal auditors are going to have to compete for attention even harder and many will have difficult messages to convey in the near future. If you want management, auditees and colleagues to listen to you and respond to your messages, you will need adequate sales skills.
And, if you’re in a sector that has been badly affected by the pandemic, you may need to brush up your CV and prepare to sell your own skills more aggressively. If you have what it takes to help organisations weather this crisis, don’t sell yourself short.

“Audit International are specialists in the recruitment of Auditors and various Corporate Governance Professionals including Internal Audit, Cyber Security, 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 via any of the following:
Calling
– Switzerland 0041 4350 830 59 or
– US 001 917 508 5615
E-mail:
– info@audit-international.com”

The podcast has rapidly become the go-to media for anyone and everyone seeking thought leadership, guidance, advice, or entertainment, especially in a particular niche with particular audience demands.
While far from a flash-in-the-pan trend, podcasts are tapping into what makes radio so timeless – they are familiar, routine, mobile-based and mostly non-committal (compared to TV shows), increasingly well-produced and incredibly varied in content provision and direction.
The state of podcasting in 2022
Podcasting is a rapidly growing, and increasingly lucrative, creative medium for creators and advertisers:
• “In 2021, there (were) 850,000 active podcasts, with over 48 million total episodes”.
• “Each week, more Americans listen to podcasts than have Netflix accounts”.
• “Podcast ad revenue is expected to grow to $1.33 billion in 2022”.

It’s also worth noting why people listen to podcasts, and this is where podcasting really comes into its own:
• “74% of all listeners tune in to learn new things. Other common reasons include entertainment (71%), staying up-to-date with the latest topics (60%), and relaxing (51%)”.
So rather than escaping into stories (which is increasingly the reason why audiobooks are on the rise), or listening to light-hearted comedy to relax at the end of the day (comedy still stands as the most popular podcast genre), learning is the primary reason why people listen to podcasts.

Finance podcasting and the future of the medium
The Finance sector has had a proliferation of podcasts erupt over the few years – content is varied, informative and incredibly useful, and the nature of podcasting means creators can approach the topic of “finance” from a variety of angles; from money management to investment advice, industry news to crypto-tips.

The team at Audit International are real fans of a podcast, so below are our top 10 finance podcasts we absolutely urge anyone in the industry to listen to!

• Invest like the Best
“Exploring the ideas, methods, and stories of people that will help you better invest your time and money”.
A popular and varied podcast covering everything from design investment products to interviews with leading financiers, start-up accelerators and figures within finance, investment and money management.

• Inside the Strategy Room
“We talk with McKinsey partners and corporate executives on the challenges they face creating lasting strategies in a fast-changing world. We also examine the different ways these executives approach these challenges and the new and innovative ways they think of creating a vision for their enterprises”.
While more strategic in approach, this McKinsey-sponsored podcast covers business and finance leadership via CEO interviews and thought leadership.

• We Study Billionaires
“We interview and study famous financial billionaires including Warren Buffett, Ray Dalio, and Howard Marks, and teach you what we learn and how you can apply their investment strategies in the stock market”.
With over 85 million downloads, this is a huge podcast for obvious reasons – an easy audio mind-tap into the richest and most successful finance people in the world.

• So Money with Farnoosh Torabi
“So Money brings inspiring money strategies and stories straight from today’s financial leaders, bestselling authors and entrepreneurs”.
One of the top-rated US finance podcasts in the podcast ecosphere, covering everything from childcare affordability to investing in a bear market.

• Money For the Rest of Us
“A personal finance and investing podcast on money, how it works, how to invest it and how to live without worrying about it”.
From debunking what money means to advice on money management and views on global investment vehicles, a great and varied finance podcast.

• Women & Money
“Take a priceless journey into your life and the life of your money with the most recognised personal finance expert in the world today”.
Suze Orman is one of the world’s most recognisable personal finance gurus, and her podcast covers everything from bond management to thought leadership on wealth creation.

• Optimal Finance Daily
“Why bother searching for the best blogs about personal finance when they can be found and read for you?”.
1900 10-minute quick-fire episodes on personal finance, covering how to get insurance to living more frugally and lifestyle changes to being better with money.

• CNBC’s “Fast Money”
“Hosted by Melissa Lee and a roundtable of top traders, “Fast Money” breaks through the noise of the day, to deliver the actionable news that matters most to investors”.
Global finance news from one of the most well-respected finance news desks in the USA. Actionable intel, up-to-date news and reporting on leading finance leadership.

• Count Me In®
“IMA® (Institute of Management Accountants) brings you the latest perspectives and learnings on all things affecting the accounting and finance world, as told by the experts working in the field and the thought leaders shaping the profession”.
A detailed and investigative look at the mechanisations and movements of finance, as told by experts and relayed by leaders in the field.

• The Better Finance Podcast
“The EY Better Finance Podcast explores the changing dynamics of the business world and what it means for finance leaders of today and tomorrow”.
From ESG reporting within finance to data analytics and more, the EY Better Finance podcast is one of the most up-and-coming popular podcasts within the finance sector.

“Audit International are specialists in the recruitment of Auditors and various Corporate Governance Professionals including Internal Audit, Cyber Security, 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 via any of the following:
Calling
– Switzerland 0041 4350 830 59 or
– US 001 917 508 5615
E-mail:
– info@audit-international.com”

Technology is clearly affecting how audits are performed today and how they would be conducted in the future. In the past, there was generally an anticipated error rate when an auditor used to rely on statistical sampling technique on a batch of invoices. However, now having remote access to all of a client’s data has allowed the implementation of new, improved data and analytics (D&A) procedures that can verify every single transaction, ensuring that any error is a major error.
The pandemic has not only changes the way of auditing but also accelerated technological investment in continuous auditing. As a result, auditors also have become analysts. This shift allows auditors to give more significant insights into organizational processes, as they are now aware of the entire process life cycle and the related technologies. To be effective, an audit must help managers and business directors achieve their strategic objectives. Future audits must meet this challenge, or auditing itself could become obsolete.

The future auditor needs to be equipped with specific skill sets to take a multidisciplinary approach. The challenges the auditor has to meet include:
• Ability of management to make appropriate decisions during times of stress
• any cultural concerns arising from employees ability to adapt and respond to the crisis
• Financial resilience and liquidity
• Dependencies on suppliers and third parties
• Disadvantaged customers
• Effectiveness of business continuity plans
• Adequacy of IT systems.

There are three important areas in which technology will alter the face of auditing:
1. Cognitive Analysis
Cognitive analysis, or AI, has the ability to shift through massive amounts of data and perform digital analyses in ways that are difficult for teams of auditors. Artificial intelligence, which leverages algorithms to identify and understand patterns and anomalies within data sets, can help internal auditors more efficiently identify areas of risk and execute many other tasks at warp speed.
2. Machine Learning
While machine learning typically seeks to extrapolate broad patterns. Whereas auditing focuses on analyzing historical events, machine learning solutions tend to predict future events. Lastly, most auditors lack the necessary education or coding skill set to proficiently experiment with machine learning in their work.
3. IRA and RPA
RPA (Robotics Process Automation) entails a bot or software application that can be programmed to perform basic human tasks that are typically rote or manual in nature. Robotics Process Automation has been one of the biggest buzzwords in the financial and tech industries. Robotic Process Automation is the creation of bots that can interact with data just like a human would, but bots have an advantage. Since bots are software, these can operate continuously without making mistakes like people

Conclusion :
The future of audit is no longer hypothetical. The future is here, and change is being accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, which is providing the impetus for more advanced technologies and innovations that will benefit the future of audit.

“Audit International are specialists in the recruitment of Auditors and various Corporate Governance Professionals including Internal Audit, Cyber Security, 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 via any of the following:

Calling
o Switzerland 0041 4350 830 59 or
o US 001 917 508 5615

E-mail:
o info@audit-international.com”

Here at Audit International, we have always been on the lookout for clever ways to describe internal audit’s role in an organization.

Elevator speeches are fine when you have 60 seconds to describe the value your profession brings to an uninformed bystander. However, an elevator speech doesn’t hold a candle to a well-crafted sound bite that will leave a lasting impression.
One of our favorites used to be “internal audit is the brakes that allows the organization to drive faster.” The reasoning behind this analogy is that brakes are a critical component in a vehicle. To be sure, they are used to prohibit a vehicle from moving. But more importantly, brakes are crucial to maintaining control of a vehicle. Of course, well-resourced, independent internal audit functions add little value if they impede an organization’s ability to take risks and achieve results. But they add value when, like brakes on a car, they empower management and the board with information to slow down or stop if critical risks lie ahead.
Over the years, Audit International have come to view the “internal audit-as-brakes” analogy to be a bit outdated. It envisions internal audit as being primarily control-focused. Today, internal audit provides much greater value than merely a set of brakes. After all, a vehicle with an outstanding braking system can still end up in the wrong place. Brakes are great for stopping or slowing down. However, they do little to help change course. Internal audit in the 2020’s must be help create – not just protect value!
We believe a more powerful analogy is that internal audit is a critical component of an organization’s navigation system. Consider the value of a modern navigation system. Once the departing and arriving locations are entered, a navigation system provides timely and crucial feedback on the progress of the journey. The friendly voice provides turn-by-turn advice on reaching the destination. It recognizes when a turn has been missed, and quickly alerts the driver to “make a legal U-turn.” It can be programmed to recommend routes that are faster, less congested, or avoid tolls. Some alert the driver when the speed limit is being exceeded, or the vehicle is being taken on unsafe roads.
Much like the navigation system in a vehicle, internal audit shows its powerful value by:
• Providing assurance that the organization is progressing on the course charted by management and the board.
• Providing recommended corrective actions when the organization is off course (please make a legal U-turn).
• Identifying risks in advance (much like a navigation system warns of an accident or road congestion ahead).
• Alerting management and the board of compliance risks/failures (think excessive speed).
• Providing assurance that the organization has “arrived at its destination.”
To succeed, organizations in the 21st century must manage risks – both internal and external, whether related to finance, operations, strategy, technology, regulations, or reputation. While organizations are raising the bar on effective risk management, executives face extraordinary headwinds spawned by a turbulent environment in which risks materialize virtually overnight. In the past five years, we’ve faced the most extraordinary global pandemic in more than a century, more global financial turmoil, cybersecurity breaches that even target our infrastructure, corporate failures, and more. In the immediate future, we are facing the prospect of severe supply chain disruptions, inflationary pressures not seen in 40 years, and likely more nasty surprises from COVID-19. Relying on a good braking system will be inadequate to navigate the hills and valleys that lie ahead. Instead, organizations need strong navigation systems with well-resourced and independent internal audit functions fully integrated to succeed.
Granted, Audit Internationals updated analogy may be oversimplified. Strong internal audit functions add value in a multitude of ways, and we are never more critical that management and the board in navigating risks that our organizations face. However, I find it is useful to think through analogies such as this one so that I can better articulate internal audit’s role in ways that everyone can understand.
We welcome your thoughts.

“Audit International are specialists in the recruitment of Auditors and various Corporate Governance Professionals including Internal Audit, Cyber Security, 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 via any of the following:
Calling
• Switzerland 0041 4350 830 59 or
• US 001 917 508 5615
E-mail:
• info@audit-international.com”

Audit International take a look at what some audit partners are unfortunately forecasting- inflation hasn’t peaked yet, and is going to continue for another period of time.
Three out of four public company audit partners believe that inflationary concerns could persist well into 2023 and possibly beyond, according to a new survey by the Centre for Audit Quality (CAQ).
The CAQ’s inaugural Audit Partner Pulse Survey found that 75% of the 700 auditors surveyed anticipate that the current inflation cycle will impact their primary industry sector for more than 12 months. Seventy-seven percent believe that because of inflation, their primary sector will raise prices beyond historical trends, including 95% of those focused on consumer products and retail.
The audit partners also offered insights on the top areas of risk that companies face in the current economic environment and the actions that companies are most commonly taking to mitigate those risks.
Beyond the current economy, the auditors answered questions about environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG), sharing firsthand observations on topics related to human capital scarcity, emerging technologies, and climate change.

Economic outlook and top economic risks
Forty percent of the audit partners said they were pessimistic — and another 4% were very pessimistic —about the U.S. economy in general over the next 12 months. Another 40% were neutral, while just 16% were optimistic. The highest level of pessimism was among auditors listing financial services as their primary sector (53%).
The audit partners participated in the survey in May. Asked to compare the future of financial prospects in their primary industry sector to the prior three months, 27% were pessimistic but 24% were optimistic. Forty-six percent were neutral. The highest level of optimism came from auditors that listed oil, gas, and chemicals as their primary sector (58%).
The audit partners were asked to select up to three economic risks facing companies over the next 12 months. The respondents most often selected inflation (62%), followed by labor shortages (52%) and supply shortages and supply chain disruptions (50%).
The top four company priorities for 2022 in the auditors’ primary sector were talent/labor (53%) and other areas closely tied to finances (growth, cost management, and financial performance).
Concern about resource scarcity
The survey asked the audit partners to what extent companies in their primary industry sector were considering nine ESG-related issues when developing their corporate strategies.
The auditors cited resource scarcity as the most common issue, with 88% saying companies were addressing it “a great deal” or “somewhat.” Sixty-six percent said the same about emerging technologies, followed by climate change (63%):
• Resource scarcity: The top company actions cited by audit partners related to human capital were an increasing flexibility in workplace location (75%) and increasing compensation (73%).
• Emerging technologies: Cybersecurity was the fourth-most cited economic risk facing companies over the next 12 months. Ninety-one percent of respondents said companies are at least moderately prepared for a cyberattack, but less than 50% thought significant progress had been made in addressing five of six specific areas mentioned in the survey.
• Climate change: While 63% of audit partners said companies are incorporating climate change into their corporate strategies, just 4% listed climate change as a top-three economic risk over the next 12 months — last among the eight choices presented.

“Audit International are specialists in the recruitment of Auditors and various Corporate Governance Professionals including Internal Audit, Cyber Security, 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 via any of the following:
Calling
• Switzerland 0041 4350 830 59 or
• US 001 917 508 5615
E-mail:
• info@audit-international.com”

Today, Audit International are hoping to clear up a few of the most common Internal audit myths. Let us know if there are any we have overlooked, and we bet we can debunk those ones too.

Myth: There is little creativity in internal auditing
This couldn’t be further from the truth. Internal auditors are called on to do a hard job, that much is true. That job can be operationally challenging, “dry” in content (which is subjective), and seemingly “behind the scenes”. However, as Workiva states, IAs are increasingly using brand power and social media to better communicate what they do and its centrality to business operations.
• “For instance, a team I used to work on rebranded from “Internal Audit” to “Risk Advisory and Assurance.” It helped answer questions about what we do and provided clarity to the types of services we provided”.
If internal audits are seen to be working in the shadows, the time is now to dispel those rumours of bean-counting and step into the fore!

Myth: IAs are the business police
Stinnett Associates describes how they go about amending this viewpoint perfectly, by urging internal auditors to focus on “process improvement” as the real essence and philosophy of the role, rather than letting stakeholders confer amongst themselves that IAs are only in it to stifle business, innovation, creative thought or operational independence.
Owning this new narrative is super important: IAs are integral to business success, and vital elements in non-auditors doing even better in their roles thanks to IA’s fastidious attention to regulatory and ethical performance.

Myth: Aren’t internal auditors just accountants by another name?
While accounting provides some critical skills needed to be a successful internal auditor, the industry draws from a wide range of backgrounds and skills, from tech and IT to engineering.
The real skills needed – diligence, a high regard for quality services, fastidiousness, great communication and creative thinking – means that people from a wide variety of backgrounds with training can enjoy a career in internal audit.

Myth: Internal audits are the same as external audits
No, they are not the same. While some parts of the day-to-day job of an internal and external auditor are parallel – both evaluate controls, report to seniors, and work with audit programmes – the outcomes and flexibility of internal auditing drastically differs.
As Moss Adams in their presentation titled Busting the Myths Surrounding Internal Audit states, “(IA) focuses on future events by evaluating controls to help the organisation accomplish its goals and objectives” rather than just meeting “materiality thresholds”.
By offering a service more “broad in scope” than external auditors, IAs provide direct, measurable business outcomes and improvements.

Myth: Internal audit is a lonely job
While “independence” of an IA’s role is a prerequisite, the truth of the matter is internal auditors straddle every department in an enterprise.
As mentioned above, the job is focused entirely on improvements, working closely with internal controls (which is a separate but often conflated field) to mitigate fraud and perfect business outcomes. This means that IA professionals get to work with their own team and every department in a company.

“Audit International are specialists in the recruitment of Auditors and various Corporate Governance Professionals including Internal Audit, Cyber Security, 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 via any of the following:
Calling
• Switzerland 0041 4350 830 59 or
• US 001 917 508 5615
E-mail:
• info@audit-international.com”

This week Audit International are taking a very tongue-in-cheek look at how Internal Auditors can be the most liked person in the office, and who everyone wants to talk to around the water cooler. Read on for some insightful tips.

Outside of boxing or MMA, internal auditing has to be one of the most contentious careers around. You would never hear a department stating, “Let’s invite the internal auditors to our next staff meeting.” But I don’t think they are destined to be the policing bad guys that everyone hates to see coming. I believe that there are truly opportunities for internal auditors to become partners with audit clients.
As a matter of fact, I have heard of recent experiences that have further increased my belief in the auditor’s ability to be a trusted partner, even a sought after consultant. My source has been at their current organization almost ten years. They get along very well with audit clients, even the ones that have had bad audits results. They have open, honest relationships where they all care about the organization and its success.
My source has always been a very good technical auditor, but their current organization taught them a lot about the human side of the workplace. Many of the people they work with have become almost like an extended family. Recently, another organization approached them about being their Executive Director of Internal Auditing. This was an opportunity that they just could not refuse. Now as they reflect on the previous role, the things that they most miss are the people.
As they walked around spreading the word of leaving, they found out that the feeling was mutual. The kind words and warm hugs nearly brought them to tears and as everyone told them how big of a loss that leaving was to the company, they could not help but remind them, “You do understand, I am an auditor.”
Realistically I don’t think that other departments are supposed to like auditors, but most of them truly valued the time together. Those who didn’t like my source, at least respected them and the craft.
But then they began to wonder, what had they done to gain the trust and respect of the audit clients. So they asked a few. And I’d like to share with you the general themes I heard repeated.
Honesty is Honourable. Over the years, there were some heated discussions surrounding certain people, places and processes. Throughout it all the truth was still gently told. And this is one thing clients said they liked. Even when the news was bad. Empathy Creates Engagement. They had never considered themselves as overly empathetic at work. They believed there was always a strict line not to be crossed between work and personal. The last 10 years have taught them that there is a line and that sometimes it is okay (or even necessary) to tip toe up to it, step on, and even cross it occasionally. Your fellow co-workers are human. And these humans have hearts that sometimes need to be tended to. Kindness is Contagious. I like people. I like to see people smiling. I like to smile and laugh and joke. In the past, people would conceal this side at work. I thought work meant being serious all the time. Now I realize, if we cannot laugh at the place we spend a majority of our time, something is wrong. This applies to your colleagues too, even if you are on the audit team – it is OKAY to have a joke. And no one deserves to be treated mean when they make mistakes. Even if they are not cut out for a job, they still deserve common courtesy and decency. If we treat our audit clients with kindness, they are more receptive to the audit process. Conclusions My source has been an auditor for a long time. They say they have occasionally failed and sometimes succeeded. Through it all, they have had decent relationships with most audit clients. Technical auditing skills are extremely important, but to truly be successful you must hone in on the human side of the profession. My sources wonderful clients have taught them that honesty is honourable, empathy creates engagement, and kindness is contagious. So the one piece of advice I can offer is this; When communicating with any clients – be honest, be caring and be kind.

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.

 

“Audit International are specialists in the recruitment of Auditors and various Corporate Governance Professionals including Internal Audit, Cyber Security, 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 via any of the following: 

 Calling  

  • Switzerland 0041 4350 830 59 or
  • US 001 917 508 5615

 E-mail:

  • info@audit-international.com”

Since the introduction of new auditing rules throughout Europe, many auditing firms are now reviewing how they tender for contracts. Under the new rules large listed companies are required to tender their audit contracts once every ten years. The new audit reforms were introduced to generate more competition between audit firms. Already following these new measures there have been a lot of audit contracts changing hands.

Also introduced was the decision to cap the fees companies can pay their auditors and prohibit the provision of certain services that auditors also provide. It is these issues that are causing the problem on auditors tendering strategies. The new audit reforms have imposed a 70% cap on fees generated by firms for non-audit work, while certainnon-audit services, such as tax advice have been banned altogether. The fee cap will be calculated based on the average of fees paid in the last three consecutive financial years for the statutory audit.

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KPMG have managed to retain their audit contract with Greggs, the pie and sandwich chain. The Big 4 firm has been Greggs’ auditors since the retailer listed on the London Stock Exchange in 1984. Greggs have not put their audit contract out to tender since 1984.

It was announced in the company’s annual report in 2013 that the tender process would begin in March of this year. KPMG managed to retain it audit contract with Greggs. Last year it was reported that KPMg was paid more than £160,000 for their work.

A number of audit tenders have arisen in the past 12 months, many driven by revised UK governance rules and impending EU-backed legislation to create more competition in the market and increase quality.

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