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Demonstrate the knowledge and competencies that an internal auditor needs to possess to perform his/her individual responsibilities, including technical skills and soft skills (communication skills, critical thinking, persuasion/negotiation and collaboration skills, etc.)

knowledge and competencies that an internal auditor needs to possess to perform his/her individual responsibilities, including technical skills and soft skills
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An internal auditor plays a crucial role in evaluating and improving an organization’s internal controls, risk management processes, and governance practices. To perform their individual responsibilities effectively, an internal auditor needs to possess a combination of technical skills and soft skills. Here are some key competencies that an internal auditor should have:

 

Technical Skills:

Accounting and Financial Knowledge:

Internal auditors should have a strong understanding of accounting principles, financial statements, and financial analysis techniques. This includes being able to analyze financial data, identify discrepancies, and assess the accuracy and completeness of financial records.

Risk Assessment and Management:

Internal auditors should be skilled in assessing and managing risks within an organization. This includes identifying and evaluating potential risks, designing and implementing risk management processes, and making recommendations to mitigate risks.

Internal Audit Techniques:

Internal auditors should be proficient in using various audit techniques, such as sampling, data analytics, and process documentation, to assess the effectiveness of internal controls and identify areas of improvement.

IT Auditing:

In today’s digital world, internal auditors should also possess knowledge and skills in IT auditing. This includes understanding IT systems, evaluating IT controls, assessing cybersecurity risks, and reviewing IT governance practices.

 

Soft Skills:

Communication Skills:

Effective communication is essential for an internal auditor. They should be able to communicate clearly and concisely in both written and verbal forms. This includes preparing comprehensive audit reports, conducting interviews, and presenting findings and recommendations to management.

Critical Thinking:

Internal auditors should possess strong critical thinking skills to analyze complex information, identify issues, and make sound decisions. This includes the ability to identify root causes, evaluate evidence, and apply logical reasoning to reach conclusions.

Persuasion/Negotiation Skills:

Internal auditors often need to influence and persuade others, especially when recommending changes or improvements. This requires effective persuasion and negotiation skills to gain buy-in from management and stakeholders.

Collaboration Skills:

Internal auditors work with various stakeholders across different departments and levels of the organization. Strong collaboration skills are needed to build effective working relationships, foster teamwork, and work towards common goals.

Adaptability and Flexibility:

Internal auditors should be adaptable and flexible to changing situations, such as shifting priorities, organizational changes, and evolving risks. This includes being open to feedback, willing to learn and adapt, and maintaining a positive attitude in challenging situations.

Professionalism and Ethics:

Internal auditors should uphold high standards of professionalism and ethics. This includes maintaining confidentiality, acting independently and objectively, and adhering to the code of ethics and professional standards of the internal auditing profession.

 

In summary, an internal auditor needs to possess a combination of technical skills and soft skills to perform their individual responsibilities effectively. Technical skills include accounting and financial knowledge, risk assessment and management, internal audit techniques, and IT auditing. Soft skills include communication skills, critical thinking, persuasion/negotiation skills, collaboration skills, adaptability and flexibility, and professionalism and ethics. These competencies collectively enable an internal auditor to add value to the organization by providing objective and insightful assessments of internal controls, risks, and governance processes.