A client recently asked me why or how did I choose internal auditing as a career. The question got me to thinking, why did I choose internal auditing as a profession? I mean really, who chooses to place him/herself in position where you are:
- Constantly learning something new
- Continuously interacting with various people across your organization
- Helping improve your organizations products/services
I think I chose audit and audit chose me. I see the world as a series of processes that either fit or do not fit. I’m always curious about how things work and how they can be improved. I remember getting my first computer as a youth. I wondered how the thing worked. So I did some research (and by research I mean I took it apart and put back together). Thankfully, I did not damage it. But seriously, I learned a lot about computers. For the next several years, I built my own computers.
I was an accountant in one of my first jobs. It was the standard debit/credit data entry and reconciliation task oriented position. The organization was using an inventory system that.. well, did not reconcile. I replicated the system in Excel, found the error and helped solve an inventory issue. Evaluating the process, identifying control points and improving the workflow was an exhilarating experience. This was the first of many process improvement initiatives. Although there is more to internal auditing than process improvement, I believe this was my first step into truly realizing the value of the function.
In a recent article, I disclosed My 3 Biggest Fears as an Internal Auditor. They are:
- Not making a difference
- Missing something important
- Finding something important
Thinking about this further, I believe this might be a life concern for me versus just something I fear as an auditor. My desire to make a difference (whether it be as an auditor working for an organization, as a friend, father, etc) is motivation to attempt to continuously improve me, the people around me, the organization I work for, etc. So I think the fears I face in life are a big part of why I became an auditor. What about you, why did you choose internal auditing?