Whilst the COVID-19 pandemic has thrown most markets and industries out of alignment and hurt the job market, things are not all doom and gloom. In fact, for those who know where to look some career paths that are at the top of the headhunting list for recruiters are in more demand than ever before. This brings us to internal auditing which at the moment could be considered to be one of the smartest choices to choose as a career path. Let’s explain why.
- The profession is resilient — it’s not going anywhere
With the rise in compliance requirements demanded from large companies the need for qualified internal auditors has increased.
With the rapid growth seen across all modern industries, internal audit departments are constantly being pushed to adjust for this growth and greater external competition in the market. Looking at data from Google Trends one finds that the search interest in the term “internal auditor” has been on a fairly constant rise over the past five years. This would lead one to believe that internal auditing is looking like a great career to offer long term security.
- Salaries are good
A career in internal auditing offers a lucrative salary with even entry-level salaries averaging well with variations expected for previous experience and location.
- There’s a skills gap and tech-savvy youth are primed to shine
Even with greater demand in the market for internal auditors from headhunting recruiters, there is another level. This being in that companies not only desire someone who is qualified as an auditor but someone tech-savvy and able to keep up with developing technology and digital platforms.
Deloitte’s Internal Audit 3.0: The Future of Internal Audit is Now, states that companies are looking for internal auditors who can assure, advise and anticipate.
To further break this down, headhunting companies are looking for “purple people”, individuals who have a firm grasp of both business and technology. This is because the future of auditing and accounting, in general, is linked to technology using robotic process automation (RPA) and artificial intelligence (AI).
Communication is also key as an internal auditor has potential risks that need to be voiced immediately and with confidence. With the age of digitization firmly here risk is also based on online presence and thus individuals need a grasp of this space as well.
Further proof of this is in a recent survey of internal auditors in the report, Towards a Data-Driven Future by CaseWare International Inc, that stated the top challenges that auditors face are moving from older manual processes to digital auditing technologies. This is where a younger professional will have the edge.
- It’s very well-suited to remote work
With the COVID-19 pandemic affecting the whole world over the past year, many businesses have shifted focus to having their staff work remotely. Internal auditing is well-suited to this work arrangement.
The internal audit considerations in the response to the COVID-19 report by Deloitte, suggests procedures for internal auditors to consider when working from remote locations, with the following specific guidance:
- Internal auditors should consider the volume of electronic documentation available and prepare requests for evidence in advance.
- Acknowledge key stakeholders and consider their flex schedule during this time.
- Conduct remote progress updates and make time to communicate findings.
- Familiarize yourself with the technology available to assist with remote working, creating an efficient means to collaborate with your team.
- Use communication channels, video conferencing and record/share workshops.
- Use an Agile approach to reporting.
- Fraud fears will keep internal auditors and CFEs busy and in high demand
COVID-19 has greatly impacted the level of fraud reported according to an ACFE report, “92% of respondents expect an increase in fraud over the next 12 months.” With this and the ever-increasing cybersecurity risks, the need for internal auditors only grows and that’s why recruiters are on the lookout when headhunting. Particularly with the increase of anti-fraud technology, there is an increase in spending on consultations and training which will lead to a focus on recruiters looking for candidates with a technological skillset.