PracticeConsultingCommunication key for internal auditors

Communication key for internal auditors

If you were to ask anyone what an internal auditor was, few people would know. And even fewer would be able to say what an internal auditor's most prized characteristic was.

But new research out this week can reveal that the most crucial attribute in an internal auditor is communication skills.

Of 131 heads of internal audit surveyed by the Institute of Internal Auditors, 73% of respondents said that communication skills were ‘very important’ among potential recruits.

The next most desirable attribute in new recruits was experience of internal audit with 39 respondents citing this. Under less important criteria for budding internal auditors featured specialist IT skills, management experience and a professional qualification.

Gail Easterbrook, IIA’s chief executive officer, said: ‘The fact that communications skills are most sought after endorses the Institute’s long-held belief that internal auditors must be equipped to market themselves and sell the training of their departments to others within their organisations.’

And it is not just the attributes of an internal auditor that might be of interest. The latest findings of the IIA’s annual employment survey show that auditors with three to five years’ experience can earn up to £30,000.

Thirteen percent of senior auditors earn between £50,000 and £60,000 and 5% earn up to £70,000. The highest stated salary was £130,000 with the highest overall package of £215,000.

Other findings showed internal audit managers’ worries over recruitment are growing with more than half interviewed voicing concerns about the ability to employ and retain auditors with the appropriate skills set.

Easterbrook added: ‘The Employment Survey 2001 provides some interesting food for thought. The enhanced status of the specialist MIIA qualification, now more valued than other generalist qualifications, is pleasing to note.’

The Employment survey is on sale for £5 at the IIA. For more information contact publications@iia.org.uk.

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