Hey Fellas! If you feel that Internal Audit is your choice for career or if you wanna know more about Internal Audit and its future prospects, then this article might help you out!
We will focus more on the career related aspects into this article and won’t go deeper into India specific laws regarding this. For that, we would come up with another article or meanwhile you can search ‘Internal Audit as per Companies Act’.
What it is !!
As per IIA, the self-explanatory definition goes as “Internal audit (IA) is an independent, objective assurance and consulting activity designed to add value and improve an organization’s operations”. To make it more simple, Internal Audit is an activity performed by an entity to analyze how their business is being conducted and how it can be improvised.
Internal audit is a very technical and specialized field, requiring a wide range of skills and knowledge from its practitioners. When it comes to adding value, skills are given utmost importance, even more than your certifications (But yes, certifications are important too). Whether it be auditing skills, data analysis skills or technical knowledge, Internal Auditors are the foremost and most sought-after consultants by organizations. They generally, report their key observations directly to the board and being equipped with skills and knowledge, are consulted in all important decisions related to the organization.
Career: Don’t Worry!! There is enough for everyone here
Internal Audit is a very promising career, provided you have a never-ending hunger to update and upgrade yourself. Everyone knows that Artificial Intelligence (AI) is going to take up many jobs in coming times but it still cannot perform logical jobs and hence, Internal Auditors, being consultants performing highly logical jobs, will never go out of demand.
Internal Auditors can be employees of an organization or independent consultants. Bothways, payouts are generally good and the profession is well reputed. The more value you can create for an organization, the better you can draw. Simple economics ;)
Jobs: Industry, whether it be manufacturing or service, has never ending opportunities, not only in India but abroad as well and the demand is only poised to grow. In India, you can easily start out after completing Chartered Accountancy. Some industries also consider Cost Accountants for Internal Auditor role.
Practice/ Consulting: You can start consulting, after having relevant experience, individually or by associating with a reputed consulting firm. Third party Internal auditors (who act as an independent arm of an organization’s management) are in greater demand these days due to their varied knowledge about different industries and independence.
How to find out whether this is your cup-of-tea:
You have to try something to figure out whether you actually like it or not. However, you should always look for some hints and introspect to understand yourself better.
Our hint: If you have the hunger for audit, data, figure crunching, business processes, technology and related aspects, then congrats, this can be for you.
Future Aspects of Internal Audit:
Internal Audit is a highly evolving field with changing business scenarios and ways the data is being collected and processed. Be it block-chain or Artificial Intelligence, Internal Auditors have to unlearn and learn continuously, to enable them to effectively audit every aspect of the business.
Internal Auditors are not limited to just financial and auditing knowledge, they would be required to gather knowledge about data analytics and different technologies. The person having cravings for data and technology is more likely to succeed in coming times. This field is not recommended for those who want to settle their quest for knowledge early. It is a demanding profession in terms of knowledge and commitment. Techies are also pursuing Internal Audit certifications these days and this is enough to give you a fair idea about how technology and internal audit are going to be linked.
With increased business transactions, complexities and unethical practices, scope of Internal Audit is going to increase with passing times.
Premier Institutes offering Internal Audit Courses:
Institute of Chartered Accountants of India: The Internal Audit Standards Board of ICAI offers post qualification certificate course on Internal Audit. It is widely accepted in India and is recognized by industry. You can check further details at https://www.icai.org/post.html?post_id=7606.
Institute of Internal Auditors (USA): If you are seeking a globally accepted certification in IA, then IIA is the best choice. It offers CIA certification (Certified Internal Auditor) which is widely accepted worldwide. Login to https://na.theiia.org/certification/CIA-Certification/Pages/CIA-Certification.aspx to know more. Its Indian chapter is located in major cities and u can reach-out to them at https://www.iiaindia.org/. Every country has a special pricing for this course. Hence check out with your country's chapter first, to know more about pricing. This certification is not only available to finance professionals, it is also available to techies as well and they are pursuing it!
The author is an Internal Auditor and is working with a reputed consulting firm to provide Internal Audit services to clients nationally and Internationally. He can also be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
I would suggest you to go through the given links before reaching out on the certification matters.