Selecting the right people for the job

ROLE OF THE INTERNAL AUDITOR

The internal auditor role is normally staffed by a number of experienced employees from throughout the organization. The purpose of the internal audit is to confirm that the company’s documentation meets requirements (e.g. ISO9000, OSHA, etc.) and that day-to-day operations follow the documentation. So, the internal auditor must serve as:

A catalyst

An interface between different groups

An advisor

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:

An inquisitor

A fault finder or rock thrower

Biased (for or against)

Dishonest

A policeman

An inspector of products

AUDITOR QUALIFICATIONS

Selection of candidates for the role of internal auditor should be made based on several factors:

Personal Interest

Desire to take on extra responsibility.

Qualifications

Knowledge, skills, abilities, experience.

Work ethic

Ability to high quality and efficiency without direct supervision.

Specific minimum qualifications that should guide the selection of auditors include:

Education

Demonstrated competence in clear and fluent oral communications and in written concepts and ideas.

Experience

Three to four years full-time workplace experience.

Understand the role of individual units within the overall organization.

Personal Qualities

Communication skills

Tactfulness

Flexibility

Persistence

Objectivity

Integrity

Personal Attributes

Open-minded and mature

Sound judgment

Analytical skills and tenacity

Ability to perceive situations in a realistic way

Understand complex operations from a broad perspective

AUDITOR TRAINING

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.

AUDITOR RESPONSIBILITIES

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.

AUDITOR SELECTION

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).