4 Tips to Stand Out as a Professional Internal Auditor
An internal auditor is a professional who is responsible for reviewing and evaluating an organization’s financial, operational, and compliance processes to ensure they are efficient, effective, and compliant with laws and regulations.
Internal auditors work within an organization, such as a company, government agency, or non-profit organization, and report to its management. These days, you need more than basic skills to become a sought-after audit professional.
To enhance your audit career path and stand out in your industry, we have some tips that will help, including:
- Hone your hard and soft skills
- Price your services correctly
- Get the appropriate certifications
- Be informed of industry-related compliance reforms
1. Perfect your audit skills
First and foremost, your audit skills will determine how well you do in your career as an auditing professional. You probably already have a handle on perfecting your hard skills, but don’t forget to develop your soft skills. For instance, here are some of the most important abilities to develop:
Thinking and questioning objectively is critical to reaching the right conclusions. This is arguably the most important skill to develop because it can’t be replicated with automation.
To stand out, you must take your profession seriously and independently pursue audit-specific certifications and CPE credits. An eagerness to learn about new developments in the audit industry will show your employers you’re committed to your craft.
Your clients will be naturally anxious or stressed, so it’s important to empathize with them while you perform your internal audits. Having empathy can also increase audit quality.
To stand out, you need to know what’s important to key stakeholders and how the numbers impact a business and their strategic goals.
Communication skills are key in every industry, and auditing is no exception. For some reason, many audit professionals don’t develop high-level communication skills, so you can get ahead of the game by honing your presenting abilities for internal audit findings.
This is your ability to inspire confidence. As an audit leader, you must inform, educate, and influence stakeholders on our audit findings. The more you inspire confidence, the more trust you’ll earn in return.
These are just some of the audit skills you’ll want to develop at a high level to become an in-demand compliance auditor. You can stand out best by being proactive, strategic, insightful, and influential with your clients.
2. Don’t price your audit services too low
If you choose the path of self-employment, you might find it challenging to set your rates. While offering your services at attractive rates is excellent, don’t price your audit services lower than what you’re worth.
One of audit professionals’ most significant mistakes is trying to capture clients with low prices. Many people want to save money, but many want quality first. Sometimes, seeing a lower-than-usual price creates the perception that the service isn’t top-notch.
Audit professionals who stand out in their industry charge higher rates because their services are worth more. This is because adept audit professionals bring additional value, whether experience, expertise in a specific area, or specialized knowledge.
If you don’t feel you can charge higher prices, look for ways to make your services and evaluations more valuable to justify the higher cost.
3. Get audit-related certifications
When you work for companies, you’ll need basic compliance auditing certifications, although some requirements are industry-specific.
Let’s say you’re an auditor in the medical sector. Get the Certified Professional Medical Auditor (CPMA) certification from the AAPC to audit in the medical field. There is also the Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) certification too, it’s relevant to working with organizations that manage patient data, including law firms and health practices.
Create a strategy to pursue the audit-specific certifications supporting your chosen audit career path. Some certifications are better than others because they work cross-industry, but others are specific to the trade.
Get as many certifications as possible, provided it makes sense for your career path. You’ll be taken more seriously and have more authority when you obtain certifications beyond the basic requirements.
4. Stay updated on industry trends and changes
Job expectations constantly shift in every industry, so stay on top of what’s expected of you as an audit professional.
If you work for a company, they’ll probably tell you about significant changes, but you can also look around for trends in your industry. For instance, looking at the job responsibilities on hiring sites can give you an idea of what companies currently expect.
When you take your role as a compliance auditor seriously, you’ll be in demand. Businesses need to mitigate risk, and your audits keep organizations compliant with necessary government regulations for annual mandatory statutory reports like 10K filings and securities regulatory findings.
The more you invest in your audit career path and development, the better results you’ll get for your clients. However, you’ll earn more money and respect by developing the audit skills that make you stand out.