It Takes a Special Person to Be an Auditor:
By Ralph Kolts
February 2004 (SmartPros) -- The job of an internal auditor is to evaluate, analyze, reach conclusions, and provide objective opinions. The job is like that of a doctor, assessing the health of the company, diagnosing illness, and prescribing a course to recovery. To do this, the auditor must possess special qualities:
An auditor is multi-skilled, understanding every part of the business, and closely aligned with business objectives.
An auditor has the ability to sift through minute detail, while keeping the big picture in mind.
The auditor faces difficult problems and often times difficult people, while maintaining the cool calmness that comes with experience and self-confidence.
The auditor is the shining example of commitment, dedication, contribution, and hard work – because everyone is watching to see if the auditor stumbles.
An auditor has thick skin, a controlled temper, natural curiosity, unforgiving tenacity and even a sense of humor.
Auditors maximize the synergy that comes from team effort, sharing their own knowledge and expertise for collective success, while maintaining their unique individualism.
The auditor's customer is . . .Well, everyone.
An auditor is a lifetime student, always learning new technologies and continuously improving.
An auditor is able to build positive working relationships with those who may see them as a distraction – earning, everyday, the trust and respect of wary and suspect minds.
Troubles are part of the job; it just goes with the territory. The auditor sees each problem as an opportunity, deflecting obstacles like a super hero deflects bullets.
An auditor is a quantitative analyst, critic, ethicist, economist, engineer, detective, change agent and above all the consummate professional.
When faced with a dilemma, the auditor resorts to clear thinking and level headed decision-making.
An auditor is an expert project manager, able to plan, organize, and execute complex projects -- on schedule, while juggling several other equally complex projects at the same time.
Auditors are not afraid to tackle unpleasant tasks. They ask the tough questions.
An auditor is an accomplished communicator, and an even better listener.
Waste, poor quality, inefficiency, and unmanaged risk are the enemies of every auditor.
Rewards, recognition, and even a simple “thank-you” can be few and far between. The auditor’s job satisfaction comes from knowing the results of their work adds value and prevents bad things from happening.
The auditor always represents the best interests of the company and leadership, while encouraging excellence from each organization, and nurturing the best talents and effort from every individual.
An auditor does all this while being under appreciated, under informed, isolated and sometimes excluded.
The job of an internal auditor is special and not just anyone can do it. It is a profession filled with excitement and purpose; important work, that demands special people to carry it out. Yes, it takes a special person to be an auditor.
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You may have heard it before, the auditor, whether internal or external to the organization are the most feared and the most loved person(s) at any moment in time. These professionals work with a sense of mission that propels them to succeed, regardless of the obstacles or set backs. They eat these for every meal to give them the strength they need to outsmart and defeat the adversary. These days, management views names like Donaldson, Spitzer, Greenspan and Ashcroft as the attackers to their enterprise. While this may be their perception, without competent mission oriented internal and external auditors these managers will certainly see agenda items like MyDoom, SoBig, Basel, OBL, OCC, FTC and SOX as "Hot" topics at the next Board Meeting.