(in-tur-nl aw-dit-ing) (n.)
The practice of examining financial records from within an organization. Internal auditors help ensure that a business or organization is following all applicable financial rules and regulatory requirements. They regularly evaluate the procedures, policies, and operating guidelines of their employers and assess them for potential problems or rule violations. The internal auditor also monitors company financial transactions for evidence of theft or fraud. An internal auditor may review models of financial activity, interview employees and managers, meet with supervisors to discuss policy changes that can affect the company, and conduct risk assessments of future company activities.
Internal auditors must be highly organized: the position requires keeping extensive notes on all finance-related operations within a business. Time management skills are essential because the internal auditors must ensure that all regulatory paperwork is filed in a timely manner. An internal auditors should also be good at math and have good analytical skills so they can find discrepancies in company financial records. Internal auditors must be familiar with computers, since they will often use computerized databases, search computer records, use computerized models for predicting effects of policy changes, and prepare documents and spreadsheets using a computer. Good interpersonal and communication skills are also essential because internal auditors must deal with managers and employees at all levels.
Most internal auditors have bachelor's degrees in accounting, finance or economics. An advanced degree can make a candidate more competitive and can open doors to other opportunities, such as teaching or conducting research. Another way for auditors to improve their chances in the job market is to get a professional certification and become a Certified Internal Auditor, Certified Public Accountant or Certified Fraud Examiner.