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Dreams Can Come True

Me? An internal auditor? Dreams Can Come True

by Ms Jodi Chew, Year 2 Bachelor of Accountancy, Singapore University of Social Sciences


Often, there are misconceptions regarding the role of an internal auditor. Many think they scrutinise companies much like a policeman finding problems. At a career talk session on 11 August 2021 which saw the participation of 19 multi-year students from the Singapore University of Social Sciences, Mr Koh Yong Chuan, vice-chairperson of IIA Singapore Young Professionals Working Group (YPWG) took the opportunity to correct the misconception.

Successfully assessing an organisation's risks is fundamental to the job of internal auditing. By identifying those things that threaten the organisation from achieving its goals, internal auditors are  assessing the company’s appetite for risk and evaluating whether management is operating within those boundaries. Yong Chuan also said that the ability to anticipate the organisation's needs, as well as its risks, raises internal audit's profile and value.

With this better understanding that an internal auditor is the organisation’s trusted advisor, I am more receptive to the idea of pursuing a career in this field. Some of the benefits I discovered are the exposure from meeting people from other countries and learning opportunities from being given different audit assignments. Internal auditing also happens to be a very dynamic job where no one day is the same - it will therefore not get boring!

But what does it take to be an internal auditor in a digital era?  Besides being an accounting or business graduate, Ms Natalie Goh, YPWG member identified the core skills, including communication, analytical, and writing skills. Being adept in data analytics is another skillset that was highlighted by Ms Katherine Ang, chairperson of YPWG. She said that as companies move to cloud computing and adopt artificial intelligence and machine-learning concepts, internal auditors enabled with data analytical skills to translate an increasingly overwhelming amount of data into meaningful, impactful analysis would be valuable. Other attributes of effective internal auditors are flexibility, resilience, natural inquisitiveness, and staying positive when faced with challenges.

And while nobody would dare claim to have mastered such qualities overnight, it is heartening to know. As such, budding internal auditors should also be fast learners with good time management and be able to work well in a team.