ACCA - The global body for professional accountants

Overview

Internal auditors are involved with ensuring that organisations have good controls. They also analyse management and financial information for internal stakeholders such as the risk and audit committee, assuring these stakeholders that the systems and internal controls put in place are robust and effective. 

While some of the work is focused on finance, internal auditors are involved in all aspects of an organisation such as IT and environmental policies to making sure the correct risk controls are in place. 

Entry and progression

As internal audit covers the full breadth of an organisation’s policies and procedures, it is possible to enter the role from other non-financial areas of an organisation such as compliance or risk. 

Many organisations will also look for candidates to enter internal audit positions after they have experienced working in practice, particularly within external audit. 

Internal audit provides many progression opportunities, specifically to the senior levels of an organisation.   

ACCA develops the skills and knowledge required by the complete finance professional, including those focused on internal audit.

Those in or aspiring to enter roles in internal audit will find many areas of the P5 exam, Advanced Performance Management, relevant particularly in terms of evaluating efficiency and effectiveness and using relevant performance indicators. Additionally many techniques and principles from the paper P7, Advance Audit and Assurance will also be relevant. 

It is not just about exams. Getting the right experience helps trainees gain the competencies needed to enter and move up through their career in internal audit and finance. Areas such as preparing for and collecting evidence for audit (PO17) and evaluating and reporting on audit (PO18) would both provide great experience and relate to the performance objectives (PO) which need to be signed off as part of the Practical Experience Requirement (PER).

Career progression in this role can be supported by developing and demonstrating professional behaviours. Take a look at the behavioural competencies in the Competency Framework to reflect on the type of behaviours which are useful for business advisers. 

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DALE WRIGHT, SENIOR AUDIT PROFESSIONAL AT ONTARIO POWER GENERATION