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General Election and Internal Auditing Five Years On… May 7, 2015

Posted by Audit Monkey in The Joy & Pain of Internal Audit, Working Life in Britain.
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On the night of the General Election five years ago, I blogged throughout the evening, commenting on the various polling results in the constituencies. I’m not going to do that this evening, but I’m in a reflective mood.

If I look back on my career in the past five years, I have got to say I am disappointed. Internal auditing has not been the stepping stone to bigger and better things. If anything, of late, my career seems to be taking a backward step as I’m doing the same ‘not for profit’ auditing that I was doing when I first started out. (Of course, every cloud has a silver lining as now I’m more experienced, the ‘pick ups’ are so easy to detect and without little effort.) Why is this so?

There are several possible reasons, and in no particular order.

i) My redundancy. This has caused no end of problems getting steady employment. It hasn’t helped that successive HR personnel and Heads of Internal Audit don’t really know how to interview or what they really want. Throw inexperienced recruitment consultants into the mix and it becomes a Herculean effort trying to get a job. And for the record, I’m not the only one who moans about recruitment consultants; friends have complained how recruitment consultant ‘pain’ affects financial recruitment and some what ironically, Human Resources recruitment as well.

ii) The recession. Today a colleague in the office mentioned that this has thrown a massive spanner in the works. This has had an impact on recruitment. Only this evening, Biggins, my former manager sent me a list of job vacancies and in my reply to him I commented they were a ‘rum’ bunch of roles. Sadly he agreed! The wider point is, anyone with a decent job has stayed put and there hasn’t back sufficient economic expansion to create new roles thereby creating new opportunities.

iii) Compliance. I was called by a recruiter last week who had a couple of compliance vacancies in an investment bank. He said that the expansion in the compliance market over the past five years had been huge. I’m not surprised given the volumes of rules and regs the Regulatory Authorities have churned out over the past five years. As my readers will know, I’m not especially keen on regulation and those who enforce it; the latter tend to be a bit dim and backward, especially those in compliance functions in firms. I’ve tried to get on the compliance bandwagon on several occasions since 2010 but my apathy towards the activity probably shines through! However, there are big bucks in it; the recruiter I mentioned above was offering jobs in excess of £90,000 to £100,000 pa.

iv) Me. If I had known that it was going to be much more competitive to get a job, I would have tried to get new skills or new certificates behind me earlier (circa 2011) but I’m conscious changing career or direction is difficult, especially when one is post 40. Unless you are exceptional, one has to go through the rights of passage as I call it and accrue sufficient experience to be deemed fit to proceed. This is a characteristic I’ve seen time and time again with British employers, i.e. their conservativism towards job applicants and employees.

So where will I be in five years time? I don’t know, but I don’t want to be auditing forever. On that note, I’m off to watch the election results.

Best wishes, Audit Monkey x.

PS the ‘x’ is either a mark on a voting paper or a kiss to my readers – you decide which one you prefer!

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