Internal Auditor

Internal Auditor

While Compliance Officers are responsible for monitoring employee conduct and operations on a day-to-day basis, Internal Auditors coordinate the audit coverage of the firm’s management of regulatory requirements, conducting periodic audits to assess whether policies and regulations are being followed, after the fact. Between auditing cycles, Internal Auditors review previous audits for quality improvement, follow up on audit recommendations and plan for the next audit review cycle.

ROLE-AT-A-GLANCE
Binoculars
Demand Outlook
*

Employment opportunities for Internal Auditors remain strong due to growing business complexity and increasing impact of regulatory requirements worldwide.

Diploma
Education & Credentials
*

Undergraduate degree typically required.

Data chart
Quantitative Skills Required
*
Group of people
Interpersonal Skills & Relationship Management
*
Multiple devices Specialized Technology Skills
*
Desktop area Work Environment

Office; some travel required

ROLE-AT-A-GLANCE
Binoculars
Demand Outlook
*

Employment opportunities for Internal Auditors remain strong due to growing business complexity and increasing impact of regulatory requirements worldwide.

Diploma
Education & Credentials
*

Undergraduate degree typically required.

Data chart
Quantitative Skills Required
*
Group of people
Interpersonal Skills & Relationship Management
*
Multiple devices Specialized Technology Skills *
Desktop area Work Environment

Office; some travel required


WHAT IT IS

Key Role Dimensions

Examining and reviewing organizational records: Perform research, critical analysis, due diligence and reporting to generate a complete picture of the organization’s adherence to standards, regulations and controls.

Working closely with other internal control functions: Work with governance and control groups (i.e. compliance and risk functions) as well as external auditors.

Providing assurance to top organization officials: Key findings are typically presented to senior management and/or the Board of Directors, providing assurance that the organization is operating according to internal and external requirements.

Focus Areas

Internal Auditors focus on three key areas of control across the financial services segments:

  • Reliability and accuracy of financial reporting
  • Effectiveness and efficiency of operations
  • Compliance with rules and regulations, particularly as they relate to the processes of conducting financial transactions

WHAT IT TAKES TO SUCCEED

Key Job Accountabilities

Internal Auditors generally:

Develop the audit plan:

  • Determine internal audit scope and timelines and assign accountability for particular Internal Auditors’ portfolios (e.g. line of business, department).
  • Work with governance and control group (e.g. risk management, compliance, etc.) to assist in the preparation of audit plans of internal control activities.

 Conduct the audit:

  • Review and document compliance activities to ensure controls are effective, practical and followed consistently.
  • Conduct interviews with management and employees to understand processes, events and controls.
  • Identify follow-up action to improve compliance and/or efficiency (e.g. adjustment to employee actions, changes in financial reporting or operational processes, systemic organizational changes).
  • Compile audit reports and summarize audit findings and recommendations and present to leadership.

 Monitor corrective action taken by management:

  • Consult with management to support implementation of corrective actions identified during an audit.

Knowledge, Skills & Experience

Must-haves:

  • Expert-level knowledge of audit practices and processes
  • Knowledge of risk and credit management in the financial sector
  • Knowledge of regulatory and legislative policy and procedures for the financial sector
  • Strong mathematical aptitude, including finance and accounting skills
  • Analytical Thinking: Problem-solving and reasoning skills, able to interpret facts and figures and draw conclusions
  • Application of High Ethical Standards: Personal integrity and objectivity to provide independent reviews

 Nice-to-haves:

  • Previous experience with a financial services organization, particularly with a focus on regulatory compliance or risk management
  • Previous experience in accounting or information systems

Education & Credentials

Entry-level positions typically require:

  • College diploma
  • Undergraduate university degree

In the fields of:

  • Business
  • Accounting
  • Finance
  • Paralegal

More senior positions require:

  • Sector experience

Employers in different segments may require candidates to possess one or more of these designations:

 

Additional training may include:

  • Canadian Securities Course (CSC)
  • Canadian Investment Funds Course (CIFC)
  • FINRA Series 7, Series 63, Series 14, Series 26, Series 27, Series 39 for banks with operations in the U.S. 
  • Training on basic software packages (SAS, Excel, Access, Cognos, Business Objects)

May also require compliance-related courses on topics such as:

  • Anti-money laundering
  • Canadian tax foundations
  • Investment management
  • Financial planning
  • Trading
  • Insurance
  • Securities and related laws

Programs Offered

Queen’s University

Ryerson University

Sprott School of Business

University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT)

University of Ottawa


WHERE IT CAN TAKE YOU

Career Pathways

There are a number of pathways open to Internal Auditors through:

  • Increased Seniority: Moving into more senior roles requires years of related audit experience and more specific knowledge of audit methodologies. With more experience, you can progress into Senior Auditor roles (e.g. Audit Director), as well as other management roles within the organization.
  • Internal Move to Another Business Line: As you become well-versed in internal policies and external regulations you may be able to find roles in other business lines due to these transferrable skills. Movement is also possible into executive finance, compliance or risk management roles.

Future Trends & Impacts

There are several external factors and environmental trends that can influence the demand and qualifications for this role:

  • Regulatory Changes: The internal auditing profession is governed by the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA), which monitors and communicates changes in regulatory requirements.
  • Increased Scrutiny: Demand for greater accountability, transparency and controls in financial reporting will require greater participation of Auditors in fraud detection and prevention, risk management advisory and financial reporting.
  • Globalization: International mergers and acquisitions will lead to greater scrutiny on the part of regulators.


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