How to Excel in the World of Auditing: Auditor Proud Day Insights
Without auditors, where would we be? Every year, the last Thursday of September is Auditor Proud Day, a day in which the auditing profession is recognised for their diligence, hard work, and application of incredibly in-demand skills.
As the financial world looks forward to a disrupted near future, Auditors are finding themselves more essential and central to business operations than ever.
As we all know, auditors are bringing forward actionable operational oversight and guidance as the finance industry roils from shocks to the system from multiple angles, from cyber security threats to improved regulatory understandings and frameworks.
This year, as part of Auditor Proud Day, we want to look at the fantastic work auditors do to help shine a light on the regulatory foundations they set and how their work is central to successful financial operations worldwide.
The Auditor of the Future
A large part of a modern auditor’s workflow is navigating uncertainty and embracing change within finance.
So, to that end, here are the ways auditors are navigating uncertainty:
By understanding the intricacies of business, supply chain and user dynamics, auditors can provide valuable insights to strengthen an organisation’s processes. To anyone doubting how or why audit is considered so important at a strategic level, consider the following:
● Assessing risks: Auditors identify and assess risks to an organisation’s supply chains and process management strategies, including risks from natural disasters, cyberattacks, political instability, and supplier failures.
● Contingency planning: Internal auditors develop contingency plans to mitigate the impact of disruptions. This includes identifying alternative suppliers, developing inventory stockpiles, or implementing risk mitigation strategies.
● Evaluating the resilience of critical suppliers: Auditors evaluate the resilience of an organisation’s key suppliers. This can include assessing the suppliers’ financial health, disaster recovery plans, and ability to meet the organisation’s needs during a disruption.
The job market is becoming increasingly competitive, making it difficult for organisations to recruit and retain top talent. Human resources audits have never been more critical. Consider how audit affects the following:
● Talent acquisition strategies include an organisation’s methods for attracting, screening, and hiring new employees. Are these processes fair, legal and sustainable?
● Employee engagement initiatives include an organisation’s efforts to create a positive work environment and culture of engagement and motivation.
● Succession planning: This includes an organisation’s plans for replacing key employees, and at the board and director level, this becomes mission-critical.
Work Hybridity and Remote Working Cultures
The rise of hybrid working arrangements presents both opportunities and challenges for auditors, but ones that auditing teams are perfectly prepared to handle. Consider how auditors impact the following:
● Improving productivity: Hybrid working can improve productivity by giving employees more flexibility and control over their work arrangements. Naturally, auditors become a central component of ensuring these arrangements are fair, economical, bias-free and sustainable.
● Reducing costs: Hybrid working can reduce costs by saving on office space and other overhead expenses. This can free up resources that can be used to invest in other areas of the organisation. Therefore, auditors will be adjacent to CFOs in building savings into budget forecasting.
● Improving employee well-being: Hybrid working can improve employee well-being by significantly improving work-life balance. Auditing teams will be central in measuring and quantifying these positive changes.
Geopolitical uncertainties – such as trade tensions, changing regulations, war, coups and so forth – can pose significant risks to organisations operating globally. Consider how audit teams have to monitor geopolitical developments and assess their implications on the following:
● Exposure: How exposed is an organisation to political instability, economic sanctions, and other risks?
● Compliance: Does the organisation continue to comply with laws and regulations, or have they been affected by geopolitical changes?
● International operations: How does the organisation continue to operate in countries that may be affected by geopolitical events?
How Auditors Are Embracing Change
Auditors aren’t all about firefighting and oversight – they are critical to embracing the change needed to operate in the future at full throttle.
The Voice of Ethics
Auditors play a vital role in ensuring the reliability of financial statements and the integrity of organisations. However, they face new ethical challenges in the ever-changing business landscape, especially in the digital realm.
And whilst regulatory bodies play an essential role in promoting ethical conduct within finance, it’s the auditors on the ground who are leading that change.
Integrated Tech and the Changing Role of the Digital World
Organisations are becoming ever more reliant on technology. However, the risks associated with technology are also increasing.
Audit teams now have to pay greater attention to digital and online risks. They are moving from the assurance shadows to guide and lean digital teams in ensuring regulatory, ethical and financial obligations are met in light of the fast-paced evolution of the digital sphere.
The Rise of ESG and Non-Financial Reporting
Stakeholders – the investors, customers, and employees of any organisation – are increasingly interested in environmental, social, and governance (ESG) impact and the transparency of reporting and holding organisations to account.
Auditors are expanding their expertise in this area to ensure they can provide valuable insights to stakeholders at any level by embracing non-financial reporting and supplementing financial oversight with less tangible assets to build a more significant, more robust foundation for company health reporting and assessment.
The Bottom Line
In short, auditors are slowly becoming the sort of c-suite “silent partner” every organisation needs, so this Auditor Proud Day, make sure you raise a glass to the personnel who are powering the financial operations of the future!
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How to Become an Internal Auditor – A Step by Step Guide, Internal Auditor CV, Template & Examples. Internal Auditor Qualifications & Skills, Internal Auditor Salary & Pay, Internal Auditor Job Description & Profile
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