Transformation of Skills Key to Success for Internal Auditors, Reveals Report
Robert Half, The Institute of Internal Auditors Identify Seven Attributes of
Highly Effective Professionals
MENLO PARK, Calif., March 7, 2013 /CNW/ - Internal auditors looking to gain a
professional edge will want to sharpen a number of non-technical skills,
according to a new white paper just released by Robert Half and The Institute
of Internal Auditors. Succeeding as a 21st Century Internal Auditor: 7
Attributes of Highly Effective Internal Auditors outlines the qualities that
have emerged as essential for practitioners in a constantly shifting business
The white paper is co-authored by Richard Chambers, president and CEO of The
Institute of Internal Auditors, and Paul McDonald, senior executive director
of Robert Half. Audit executives from global organizations representing
diverse industries -- including financial services, manufacturing, defense and
retail -- contributed their insights to the report.
The seven attributes essential for success are:
1. Integrity -- This characteristic is important in any business
setting but particularly critical in internal audit. Practitioners
must possess the confidence, trustworthiness and resilience to
handle a variety of complex situations. Integrity is difficult to
measure and generally surfaces when real-life situations put
someone's strength of character to the test.
2. A talent for relationship-building -- Successful internal audit
professionals foster credibility long before an audit begins. In
building solid relationships, they can develop a better
understanding of the company's products, systems and risks,
thereby making more valuable contributions.
3. Ability to partner -- Positive relationships create the foundation
for partnering with business and operational leaders. The ability
to partner enables internal auditors to execute effectively,
balancing a customer service orientation with the ability to meet
4. Communication abilities -- Writing concise, compelling reports is
only one aspect of being a good communicator. Speaking, listening
and finding the best way to visually present data are necessary to
be effective in an internal audit role.
5. Teamwork -- While relationship-building and partnering refer to
working with people outside the internal audit function, teamwork
applies to the ability to work well with one's departmental
colleagues. The highly integrated nature of the business processes
examined by internal auditors requires intensive collaboration
among professionals with different areas of technical expertise.
6. Openness to diverse perspectives -- Today's workforce includes
people of different backgrounds, generations, experiences and
skill levels. Internal auditors who have a global mindset and can
view issues through multiple perspectives are highly valued.
7. Commitment to continuous learning -- Professionals who are
dedicated to lifelong learning position themselves for more
successful careers because they are able to quickly adapt to
change. As business needs and environments shift, naturally
inquisitive internal audit professionals who are proactive about
their development will be ahead of the curve, rather than behind
"There's no question the internal auditor's role has expanded in recent years.
We're no longer just bean-counters. Today's auditors also need to understand
how the beans are grown, harvested, marketed and shipped," said Chambers. "As
chief audit executives assemble world-class teams, they now consider technical
skills a given and look to non-technical attributes as the true
differentiators separating the good practitioners from the great ones."
McDonald noted that in recruiting for internal audit roles, employers often
weigh non-technical skills as highly as functional knowledge when evaluating
job candidates. "Hiring managers are assessing leadership attributes,
judgment and advancement potential as much as they are internal audit
knowledge," he said. "Gone are the days when so-called 'soft-skills' were the
'nice-to-haves.' Now they are 'must-haves' for a successful career."
Chambers and McDonald will present a session at the upcoming IIA General Audit
Management Conference to discuss the paper's findings in greater detail. The
session is scheduled for Tuesday, March 19, in Las Vegas.
About Robert Half International Robert Half International was founded in 1948
and is traded on the New York Stock Exchange. Its financial staffing divisions
include Accountemps, Robert Half Finance & Accounting and Robert Half
Management Resources, for temporary, full-time and senior-level project
professionals, respectively. The company has staffing locations worldwide and
offers online job search services on its divisional websites, all of which can
be accessed at www.roberthalf.com.
About The Institute of Internal Auditors Established in 1941, The Institute of
Internal Auditors (IIA) is an international professional association with
180,000 members in 190 countries worldwide. The IIA is the global voice and
standard-setting body for the internal audit profession around the world.
Robert Half International, Michael Weiss, +1-650-234-6383,
firstname.lastname@example.org; The Institute Of Internal Auditors, Scott C. McCallum,
SOURCE: Robert Half International Inc.
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