Internal auditing is a critical function within any organisation, as it helps to ensure that financial and operational processes are in compliance with laws, regulations, and company policies. As such, internal auditors are expected to possess a high level of expertise in accounting, finance, and risk management. During an internal audit interview, you can expect to be asked a variety of questions that will assess your knowledge and experience in these areas.
- What is your understanding of the role of an internal auditor?
An internal auditor is responsible for assessing an organisation’s internal control systems and financial reporting processes. The main goal is to ensure that the company’s financial statements are accurate, that assets are protected, and that the company is operating within legal and regulatory guidelines.
- Can you explain the difference between a financial audit and an operational audit?
A financial audit is an examination of an organisation’s financial statements to determine if they are presented fairly and in accordance with accounting standards. An operational audit, on the other hand, evaluates the effectiveness and efficiency of an organisation’s internal controls, processes, and systems.
- How do you stay current with changes in regulations and industry standards?
I stay current by regularly reading professional publications and attending relevant training and conferences. I also have professional memberships that provide access to industry updates and resources.
- Can you give an example of a time when you identified a significant risk within a company?
In my previous role, I identified a risk in the company’s inventory management process. After conducting an audit, I discovered that there were no proper controls in place to track inventory levels and prevent theft. I presented my findings to management and recommended implementing new controls, which ultimately led to a significant reduction in inventory losses.
- How do you prioritise your audit tasks?
I prioritise my audit tasks based on the level of risk they pose to the organisation. I begin by focusing on the areas that have the highest potential impact on the company’s financial statements or operations.
- How do you ensure that your audits are objective and unbiased?
I ensure objectivity and impartiality by maintaining independence from the departments and activities I audit. I also avoid any conflicts of interest and follow a strict code of professional conduct.
- Can you explain your experience with data analysis and statistical sampling techniques?
I have experience using various data analysis tools such as Excel and SQL to extract and analyse financial data. I am also familiar with statistical sampling techniques, including attribute sampling and variable sampling, which I have used to test the accuracy of financial data.
- How do you handle challenging situations or resistance from management during an audit?
I approach challenging situations by maintaining a professional and impartial attitude, and by clearly communicating the purpose and benefits of the audit to management. I also make sure to address any concerns or resistance in a timely and effective manner.
- How do you evaluate the effectiveness of internal controls?
I evaluate the effectiveness of internal controls by testing their design and operating effectiveness, as well as by assessing the company’s compliance with laws and regulations. I also review any incidents of non-compliance and assess their impact on the organisation.
- Can you describe your experience with risk management?
I have experience identifying and assessing risks that could potentially affect an organisation’s financial statements or operations. I also have experience developing and implementing risk management strategies to mitigate those risks.
- How do you ensure the confidentiality and integrity of information obtained during an audit?
I ensure confidentiality and integrity by following strict internal policies and procedures for handling sensitive information. I also limit access to audit-related information to only those who have a need-to-know and ensure that all data is properly secured and disposed of when no longer needed.
- How do you communicate the results of your audits to management?
I communicate the results of my audits in a clear, concise and easy-to-understand manner. I provide a summary of the key findings, along with recommendations for improvement. I also ensure that management understands the impact of the findings on the company and the steps that need to be taken to mitigate the risks
Internal audit interviews can be challenging, but by preparing in advance and being able to effectively communicate your qualifications and experience, you can increase your chances of landing the job. Remember to stay calm, be honest, and demonstrate your understanding of internal audit processes and best practices.