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Internal Auditors are responsible for key functions within the accountancy field. They provide an independent and objective assessment of a company’s operations, specifically the effectiveness of its internal control structure. Within the audit field, professionals with the Certified Internal Auditor designation are among the most sought after and respected.

But in general, Internal Auditors use a systematic, disciplined approach to evaluate and provide assurance services through the following approaches:

Analyses Operations
Reviews Compliance
Recommends Controls
Assures Safeguards

Operations Analysis

An Internal Auditor often reviews procedures and operations closely, confirming that they are being followed correctly and that they support the organization’s goals and objectives. After examining processes and procedures, the Internal Auditor reports his or her findings and works closely with auditees to provide accurate and pertinent recommendations that help the organization to adhere more closely to its objectives.

Compliance Review

An Internal Auditor supports senior management by staying fully educated about the intricacies of, implementation strategies for, and compliance with current regulations and legislation. An Internal Auditor is often responsible for explaining and detailing the impact that non-compliance would have on the organization, as well as reporting signs or instances of non-compliance.

Control Recommendations

An Internal Auditor may also be expected to evaluate the efficiency and effectiveness of current controls and determines if those controls can truly mitigate risks that can threaten the organization. Effective internal control is a built-in component of the management process and keeps the organization on course toward its objectives and mission.

Safeguard Assurances

Another common Internal Auditor function is to review how the organization protects its assets and assesses whether the appropriate safeguards are in place. If assets are not well protected, then the Internal Auditor must recommend appropriate changes.

To fulfill these responsibilities, Internal Auditors often provide any or all of the following services to an organization:

Financial Statement Audits – Determines the fairness of the presentation of financial data.
Operational Audits – Determines whether internal controls are adequate and working as intended and whether operating procedures are performed efficiently and cost-effectively.
Information Systems/Technology Audits– Includes participation in system development projects and committees, pre- and post-implementation reviews, operational integrity reviews, system evaluations, consultation, and programming across information systems.
Management & Special Requests – Includes performance of various reviews at management’s request, such as management audits, fraud reviews and other special services.

Want to know more? Explore potential internal auditing career paths.

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