Life as an internal auditor

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As one of the cornerstones of a career in accounting, an auditor is integral in ensuring the financial health of a company. Internal auditing, in particular, gives you a strong understanding of the financial, risk, legal and operational challenges that your employer faces, and an opportunity to correct practices and processes. Many may view it as a mundane and repetitive job, but what they do not realise is the challenges and complexity that comes with the job.

 

Shortage of talent

Internal auditors of high calibre are in extremely short supply in Singapore, and there is a consistent demand for candidates with experience from the Big 4 and large commercial firms. Travelling forms a large part of an internal auditor’s job in Singapore due to it being a regional hub for many multinational companies, and candidates who are willing to travel (sometimes more than 50 per cent of the time) are the most sought-after.

Distinguishing yourself from the crowd

To excel in the job, you must be someone who loves processes and controls testing. A fearless nature is also essential due to the need for you to question, even interrogate, internal stakeholders and the senior management on company processes and controls. Strong professional qualifications, such as a CPA or ACCA, will also give you a strong boost to a senior auditing role or a shift to the commercial sector.

The demand for internal auditors remains very strong in Singapore, particularly for professionals with three to five years’ experience and flexible on travelling.

Developing your career

Internal auditors often progress from chartered firms to the commercial business, and the firms you audited as an external auditor will influence which sector or company size you can work for in the future. Junior auditors can look to progressing to a senior auditor, then to management of an auditing team. Exceptional individuals may also eventually progress to a directorial role.

Market outlook

The demand for internal auditors remains very strong in Singapore, particularly for professionals with three to five years’ experience and flexible on travelling. While the demand for other role types within accounting is closely paced to market fluctuations, tax auditors are likely to remain in consistent demand in 2012. Overall, the prospects for internal auditors remains rosy for the rest of the year.

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