Auditors, in general, help the senior management within an organisation to implement, and maintain, financial controls that are in keeping with current legislation – to detect, and prevent, fraud, for example – but they may also be involved in other areas of company business, such as customer services, and health and safety.
An Audit Manager takes ultimate responsibility for the delivery of financial, and process, audits – whether or not such audits are conducted internally, or contracted out – to a company, or group of companies. An Audit Manager will typically be in charge of a team of senior, and staff, auditors, the supervision, training and evaluation of whom are his, or her, personal responsibility. Audits must be completed, thoroughly, and within a certain time period, and budget, so an Audit Manager will typically conduct a review, on completion, to ensure that all issues have been properly resolved. In addition to being responsible for the approval of audit programs, and, possibly, other ad hoc assignments, an Audit Manager is also likely to be the point of contact for wider stakeholders in a business, and must therefore be able to understand the needs of those stakeholders, and respond effectively.
An Audit Manager has a high degree of responsibility, and is, therefore, typically, a motivated self-starter, who can work independently, with little, or no, supervision. Some companies do, however, offer comprehensive training, where needed, and provide a supportive framework in which career prospects and opportunities for development in the longer term are very good. Indeed, some Audit Manager positions may afford the prospect of becoming a partner within an organisation in the short to medium term.
Skills & Qualifications
The role of Audit Manager is a senior position, and the transition from the role of, say, staff auditor, to managing a team of auditors, inevitably involves learning, and mastering some new skills. A recognised, professional, CCAB ("Consultative Committee of Accountancy"), or IIA ("Institute of Internal Auditors") qualification in accountancy, or auditing, is a necessity, as is sound business acumen and an extensive knowledge of risk assessment and auditing techniques. An effective Audit Manager must, however, must be a competent teacher and negotiator, and an active listener.
In addition, since the position involves managing and motivating staff as well as communicating confidently with senior managers, directors and other stakeholders, a proven track record in man management, excellent – and adaptable – communication skills (verbally, and in writing) and a high level of professional integrity, are also generally considered essential.