You’ve been asked by your boss to be an internal auditor – and you’re thinking, why me? Why have I been chosen? What have I done wrong? Rather than looking at the request negatively, consider this… becoming an internal auditor could be one of the best things that has ever happened to you, at least as far as your career is concerned. Find out below about the career benefits of being an internal auditor.
Internal auditing is defined as auditing within your own business. It’s a process to check that what is written and planned in your management system aligns with what actually happens.
Below are six reasons why being an internal auditor brings career benefits…
- Understand how the business works.
You have the opportunity to see what happens in other parts of the business. You can look at what goes on, ask questions, poke and prod, and really find out what works well and what doesn’t. And what does this mean career-wise? Well it means you can find out where you want to work next.
- Put human error in perspective.
You find out that everyone makes mistakes (it’s not only you!). Just when you thought you were the only person who did things wrong, who took shortcuts, who avoided doing the difficult stuff, you discover that making mistakes is perfectly normal. Everybody does it. So auditing is a great confidence booster – for you.
- Discover top performers and top performing processes.
You find out that things are actually done pretty well. Now I know that flies in the face of what we just discussed, but the truth is that most businesses are good at what they do – that’s why they are a business. If they did things badly, the business would collapse and disappear. You will discover systems and processes, and most importantly people, within the business that are truly amazing.
- Help your colleagues understand the value of their role.
Nearly everyone (and I mean just about 100 percent of people) want to do things right. They strive to do a good job, so they want to know what is expected of them. Being an auditor can assist here, because you help people understand their role, and how and where they fit into the business. And it’s a nice feeling helping people understand their job.
- Apply new technology and thinking to your normal job.
As an auditor, you will see things that you have never seen before. You will realise new ways of working: new machines, new computer systems, new tools, new methods. And you will be able to take some of this ‘discovery’ back to your normal job. Auditing is a great way of learning.
- Help the organisation drive real improvement.
Finally, you help to build on things the business does well and you can play a part to weed out the things that are done less well – this is what we call “improvement”. If you like dealing with people and you like helping, auditing could be your dream job.
In summary, auditing is a great way to obtain real business knowledge and understanding. You can use the business as a true-life case study to understand why it is successful. The skills you learn will be helpful not only in your current role at your current organisation, but they are easily transferable and may well help you launch your career to the next level. Knowledge of operational processes is a valuable asset when it comes to helping other businesses address some of their own issues.
An obvious next step from internal auditing is conducting (and leading) supplier and third-party audits such as Quality, OHS, information security or food safety audits.
There are many benefits of auditing like assisting businesses to unlock new markets, providing their clients and customers with assurance in their systems and processes, and building trust. So if the boss does ask you to be an internal auditor, go for it! It may be the start of something great.
Formal Qualifications for Auditing Management systems exist. Enrol in our 2 day Becoming a Skilled Lead Auditor course