Selecting the right people for the job
ROLE OF THE INTERNAL AUDITOR
An interface between different groups
A reporter of fact
As the auditor serves in this role, he/she must be careful to bring an objective, professional perspective to the job. This means the auditor is not:
A fault finder or rock thrower
Biased (for or against)
An inspector of products
Selection of candidates for the role of internal auditor should be made based on several factors:
Desire to take on extra responsibility.
Knowledge, skills, abilities, experience.
Ability to high quality and efficiency without direct supervision.
Specific minimum qualifications that should guide the selection of auditors include:
Demonstrated competence in clear and fluent oral communications and in written concepts and ideas.
Three to four years full-time workplace experience.
Understand the role of individual units within the overall organization.
Open-minded and mature
Analytical skills and tenacity
Ability to perceive situations in a realistic way
Understand complex operations from a broad perspective
Specific skills for internal auditing are supported by training in:
Knowledge and understanding of the standards used.
Assessment techniques of questioning, evaluating and reporting.
Audit management and auditing skills such as planning, organizing, communicating and directing.
The tasks of the internal auditor include:
Obtain and assess objective evidence fairly.
Remain true to the purpose of the audit without fear or favor.
Evaluate constantly the effects of audit observations and personal interactions during an audit.
Treat concerned personnel in a way that will best achieve the audit purpose.
Perform the audit process without deviating due to distraction.
Commit full attention and support to the audit process.
React effectively in stressful situations.
Arrive at generally acceptable conclusions based on audit observations.
Remain true to a conclusion despite pressure to change that is not based on evidence.
The selection of appropriate individuals to invest the training and time commitment should consider matching personal qualifications with an understanding of the role and responsibilities of the auditor. Another important factor to consider is that the audit team must consist of individuals from a variety of functions. This supports the requirement that auditors must not audit their own function or department in order to maintain objectivity:
“…selection of auditors and conduct of audits shall ensure objectivity and impartiality of the audit process. Auditors shall not audit their own work.” (ref. 8.2.2, ISO9000).