Saturday, April 16, 2016

The Big Question:Shall I Move from External to Internal Audit?

One of my LinkedIn connections  sent me the following message:

"Dear Wa'el
 hope everything is well. as I see that you are an internal auditor professional, so I would like to ask for you advise. I'm working for Big4 as an external auditor, and recently I have received an offer from international company for an internal auditor position and I am confused if I want to move on or to stay, so as you are an internal experience auditor what do you say? Thanks in advance"

I have replied as follows:
"Dear ....,
Thank you for contacting me. While I am not a career internal auditor (I provide internal audit consultation), I will attempt to address your question as objectively as I can!
1. I have started my professional life with Arthur Andersen in the Middle East and stayed there until I became a partner! Why? Because I loved and enjoyed what I was doing and secondly, my objective from day one was to make it to the partnership level.
 Now ask yourself these questions:
- When you wake up in the morning do you look forward to going to your office or working with   clients?
- Do you really enjoy what you are doing. Do you do it with passion, or is it only a job to you?
- Are your career objectives clear an do you know what you want to be in 10 years?
2. Internal audit comes with its own challenges and limitations! Unlike external audit, internal auditors gain deeper understanding of the business but at the same time their experience may be limited to their company or to the industry it is in! Many professionals join internal audit to gain experience and move out to operations at a later stage. For the fun of it, almost each new internal auditor I talked to in the past wanted to be the CEO of the company in the near future!
3.How the internal audit activity at the company is valued and treated should be a major factor in your decision to move there. Company culture and tone at the top is an essential indicator, so do your homework!
4.If there is no strong and courageous CAE (with a vision & mission) leading the internal audit activity, then the future does not look promising!
 At the end of the day, you are the only one who can take that decision. Take it without pressure and just follow your gut!
Good luck, and please keep me informed of your decision! "

What else would you add to my answer? Have you made the move from external to internal audit? If so, what was your experience?

These are my thoughts,please share yours!

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