Internal Auditor Career Facts

In the world of business, the internal auditor role is performed as a system of checks and balances in accounting and operational functions. An internal auditor is required to verify the effectiveness of an organization’s processes, procedures and steps to make sure that all accounting and operational matters are handled with complete efficiency and correctness. In addition, internal auditors are asked to notify upper management of any poorly managed or intentional misuse of organizational resources to reduce the chances of fraud or waste of capital.

Getting Started as an Internal Auditor

In order for you to be eligible to work as an internal auditor, it’s generally recommended that you obtain work experience to handle the unique challenges of internal auditing. A strong background in corporate accounting, management, law, taxes, finance, operations and human resources is part of the preferred experience needed to be successful in this role. Internal auditors may be contracted from other accounting or administrative departments, or they may be brought in as third-party auditors so that they can remain objective at all times while conducting internal audit work.

General Duties of Internal Auditors

Internal auditors are often responsible for reviewing corporate financial reports to spot any discrepancies in the recording of transactions, expenses and financial contracts. Internal auditors are also asked to observe employees performing a wide variety of processes and come up with plans to streamline or improve these processes. The most important thing internal auditors do is give organizations the opportunities to re-evaluate processes to make sure they fall in line with industry and government regulations.

Why Skilled Internal Auditors Are Needed

Skilled internal auditors help organizations pinpoint any behaviors or practices that cut down on productivity and cause company waste. They often come in as hired teams of auditors before government auditors are scheduled to arrive; in this way, they can alert company executives to any potential problems in advance, which can help save months of legal and tax problems. In addition, good internal audits can ensure that a company is performing at or above government regulation and industry standards before a costly mistake occurs that can shut down a company.

Expected Earnings of Internal Auditors

Internal auditors are in a specialized group of accounting and process management professionals; therefore, the rate of pay is generally higher than for other accounting roles. In addition, because internal auditors are usually required to have a four-year degree and be certified public accountants (CPAs), they can generally command higher salaries. In 2010, most internal auditors, whether in-house or brought in from independent auditing firms, can expect to earn between $31,000 USD annually and $53,000 USD annually.

Career Outlook for Internal Auditors

Just as many accounting and administrative roles continue to grow across all industries, internal auditor jobs are expected to grow at an above-average rate in the coming years. As more and more organizations experience the challenges of record-keeping and choose to use computerized systems and automated systems to handle a multitude of processes, the human element is lost--making it vital for humans to be involved with internal audits. Internal auditors can expect to find many exciting opportunities to work with businesses and organizations of all sizes around the globe with their specialized skills.