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Reasons to Be Cheerful – 1 – 2 – 3 January 20, 2010

Posted by Audit Monkey in Working Life in Britain.
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I received an e-mail from Barclay Simpson today on their assessment of the market for internal auditors in 2010. They note that redundancies have been low in the industry for 3 reasons. I’ll paraphrase them here and add my own ‘unique’ interpretation.

1) “Many internal audit departments are now woven into corporate management and their ongoing existence has essentially been
made mandatory”.

Internal audit is now mandatory for the majority of financial services firms in UK at the insistence of the industry regulator, the FSA! I should know. I was interviewed at a Lloyd’s Syndicate in the summer of 2009. It was memorable because it was obvious that the firm was paying lip service to corporate governance and needed to up their game. The existing ‘shoe-gazing’ auditor was hardly going to shake the firm to its foundations or cause management undue problems.

2) “…many FTSE100 companies that have less than one internal auditor for every £1bn of market capitalisation. A combination of automation, improved techniques and more capable practitioners provides management with a relatively cheap but highly regarded resource”.

Great British firms watching the bottom line by resourcing an Internal Audit department as cheaply as possible.

3) Due to “the specialist nature of the work and the capability of those involved, it has become a significant challenge for companies to recruit adequately trained individuals”.

Two interpretations. Internal Auditing is such a rotten job, recruiters and employers are always constantly amazed that anyone would wish to do it. Second, a lot of auditors don’t know their arse from their elbow (one auditor I knew once raised an exception due to the lack of purchase order for the supply of electricity), so anyone who walks through the door who can actually audit and communicate with people without resorting to monosyllabic grunts will be offered the job.

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