The objective of an internal auditor is the development, implementation and monitoring of the audit policy in order to protect the financial health of the organisation; improve the operational processes; and support the continued strategy of the organisation. The internal auditor helps the organisation to realise its goals through the evaluation and improvement of risk management and of the controlling and management processes. An internal auditor performs his or her internal audits in different parts of a company and travels often in the line of duty.
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Duties of an internal auditor
An internal auditor can perform three different types of audit :
- Financial audits:
- Preparing the external audit.
- Checking the financial processes in particular, such as administrative organisation and the format of the annual accounts.
- Implementing regulations concerning valuation and certification of procedures for bookkeeping and finances (including valuations of inventory, fixed assets, provisions, criteria for activating the fixed asset).
- Checking that company assets are being used properly and preventing losses from being incurred.
- Implementing procedures and then performing internal controls to detect any internal or external fraud, risk zones where appropriate are reported.
- For American listed companies, the internal auditor implements SOX regulations (Sarbanes-Oxley) and is responsible for the follow-up.
- Operational audit:
- Audit of procedures and working methods.
- Exploring and discovering risk zones and conflicts of interest.
- Installing procedures for risk controls.
- Performing internal audit project and procedures individually, while taking the global internal audit plan into account.
- IT audit:
- Ensuring optimal performance of the IT systems.
- Investigating if the systems in use are covered by required security measures, also able to support future developments.
Required competencies of an internal auditor
An internal auditor has a Master’s degree in the field of finance or economics and generally a number of years of experience in an external audit office.
Essential competencies are:
- Competent in preparing and writing good internal audit reports.
- Well versed in financial, operational and IT processes.
- Proficient in applying knowledge of internal control concepts to planning, execution, management and reporting for evaluation of diverse business processes, domains and positions.