Career opportunities for auditors
How long can I expect to work in the corporate audit team before moving into another position in the organisation?
This is very much dependent on the market and the type of company you end up working for. In our experience this can be anything from 18 months to around 5 years, although many international groups may have a standard 2-3 year commitment of working in the corporate audit team before rotating out into the group.
Bear in mind that companies want auditors to progress quickly within their orgnaisation but they also need some time to carry out training and development before any move is realistic.
What kind of job offers can I expect to have later if I am working in the corporate audit team?
Again this clearly depends on the type of company and sector you work in, as well as the type of job you are doing. For simplicity we break down this rough guide into 4 main categories:
Financial/Operational Auditors working in Industry & Commerce
For those working in industry and commerce a whole host of job options should be available for individuals working in corporate audit, these may include classical moves into finance - controller (finance/plant etc), internal controls, financial planning and analysis, treasury, group accounting, SOX to name just a few – or more operational or commercial positions such as process, re-engineering, internal consulting, general management, project management etc.
Clearly some will favour the option of moving into a more senior position (say internal audit manager or internal audit Director) within their current department.
Financial/Operational Auditors working in Banking & Financial Services
Options include making a move into related areas such as operational risk, general risk management, compliance, internal controls, product control and financial control etc.
Besides this, candidates can move into analysis positions, strategic roles and more investment focuses positions within the sector or some candidates prefer to become experts within their particular field (say credit risk or private banking) and move forward within audit.
Depending on the size of the team you will either have the option to move into a more senior position within the department or rotate out into the business – options may include project management, IT controls, IT risk, Information security etc.
Auditors working in consulting (Big four and others)
Most likely options will include working in a more senior position, performing and managing consulting activities for your organisation. Moving forward, you are likely to have more responsibility for developing clients relationships and selling consulting services.
You may also progress into different areas within the organisation e.g. Transaction Services, or spend some time undertaking an international secondment within another country.
I am working currently in external audit, is now a good time to change my job?
This is clearly a decision you must think about but if you have been working in consulting and you feel frustrated by changing clients on a regular basis and would like to work for one company and have the opportunity to move around a company then now is probably a good time to leave. If, however, you love to challenge of changing clients continually and really would like to get involved in business development and selling consulting services than you are possibly better off staying where you are.
If I move into the business can I move back to work into internal audit later on?
Yes this does happen quite frequently and can be a good way of moving your career forward into a more senior position within the corporate audit team as you may well come back to the group in a more senior level position such as and Audit Manager or even Audit Director.
So how do I know when interviewing what career opportunities are available for auditors?
It’s a good question and not always as simple as you may think…..Of course all companies have different career opportunities available to their employees but, for sure, this is something that you should check in some detail at the interview stage. Our advice is not to just assume that an option is open to you, so really probe and question for specific/concrete examples of where people have move into within the organisation.
If the interviewer let’s you know that someone has just moved into the business, ask them exactly how much experience they had and explore their specific responsibilities within their new job.
If you are in doubt please speak to one of our consultants who will be happy to help give advice on his/her market specialism.