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Who is The Auditor of The Future?

21/10/2019 by Andy Winterburgh

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Finding the SMART Auditor

Last month I had the absolute pleasure of attending the latest Hybridge Audit Leaders event, generously hosted by ING, answering the question “What Does The Auditor Of The Future Really Look Like?"

As you can imagine we spend a lot of time talking (and thinking) about the future of Internal Audit. What skills will be needed? How will Internal Audit teams need to prepare? How do Audit Leaders transition their teams from current to future state? And how do we do that in an ever-changing future with more regulations, more innovation and more demanded of Audit?

With Chandrra Sekhaar presenting on both the key skills that he believes will be required and how to transition from the current stage to future state. And with Sally Clark very kindly Chairing the round table debate with Audit Leaders from: ABC International, The Bank of England, Citco, Close Brothers Group, Lloyds Banking Group, LSEG, State Street, Travellers, TPICAP, MUFG and Morgan Stanley, I knew we were in for a great morning, but I couldn’t have envisaged just how current and relevant the discussions would be.

Chandrra has called The Auditor of the future the "SMART Auditor". He believes they will be a composite of:

  • Business Auditor
  • Technology Auditor
  • Data Analyst

Finding The SMART Auditor

Chandrra set out his hypothesis that there are a number of activities needed to drive successful adoption of “Smart Auditor” concept, the key being:

  1. Leadership alignment and advocating the need for this initiative;
  1. Baselining the existing skills in the Audit team. This will include mapping current certifications and potential aspirations from the team;
  1. Providing the leadership team with a consolidated view of external training requirements and associated costs;
  1. Approval for the training budget and inclusion of this in the individual performance objectives;
  1. Tracking the progress against the courses and issuing stakeholder surveys to assess the improvement in audit efficiency & quality;
  1. Providing appropriate guidance and support to the audit team members, initiating “train the trainer” programme and celebrating success

So, a Hybrid auditor seems to be the shape of the auditor of the future (or maybe even a Hybridge one!)  When planning your career in Internal Audit or even reviewing the development of your own team the parameters have broadened.

Creating your own skillset

Ensuring that you and your team have the right skills in place will be an essential part of planning for the future. Creating your own team skills matrix will give you an overview of your team and your own skillset really highlighting the key areas of risk.

Do you have a skills matrix in place? If not, it may be time to get one in place as the first step in building your Future Career and that of your team.