Internal Audit beyond Auditing
by Ms Ho Vinn, Senior Year, Diploma in Accountancy & Finance, Temasek Polytechnic
After attending the insightful sharing from IIA Singapore Young Professionals Working Group (YPWG) on 2 September 2021, there were several takeaways from the session.
Firstly, I have a deeper understanding of what internal auditors do. Mr Koh Yong Chuan, vice-chairperson of YPWG shared that internal auditors help add value to the organisation in several ways by providing independent assurance that an organisation's risk management, governance and internal control processes are operating effectively. Internal auditors help identify blind spots and assist organisations in achieving business goals better. He also shared that a significant part of internal auditors’ job is helping the organisation to identify and mitigate risks quickly, efficiently, and effectively. A risk-based approach is used to provide assurance to management and the board that the controls are effective. Moving on, Mr Koh shared that “no one day is the same for an auditor”. I learned that in every engagement, the challenges faced by audit teams are different and dynamic!
Secondly, Ms Natalie Goh, YPWG member shared about the different skill sets that we could gain by choosing the internal audit career path. She said that through the internal audit process (planning, controls testing, reporting to management, etc.), we could develop important soft skills such as communication and improve technical and analytical skills.
Thirdly, Ms Katherine Ang, chairperson of YPWG shared the benefits of data analytics, like improving operations and processes and reducing human error, which help companies reduce costs and improve productivity. Data analytics also help provide better recommendations based on 100% analysis of data rather than sampling. Companies are constantly looking to enhance their operations and reduce costs while maintaining their quality output. I realised how important it is to develop data literacy skills.
Lastly, Ms Goh shared her job experiences and satisfaction when she contributed to protecting and enhancing her clients’ organisational value by finding root causes of problems and then identifying solutions. In addition, she shared that having a career in internal audit enables her to communicate and interact with people from different walks of life, while improving her soft skills, which are critical in the workforce.
In conclusion, I enjoyed this insightful and informative sharing by all the speakers. It certainly has broadened my perspective in the internal audit profession.