Core Competencies of Today’s Internal Auditor

Who is an Internal Auditor?

An Internal Auditor is a well trained and skilled professional who is hired by the companies to properly evaluate the financial transactions, accounts and operational structure of the organization through the process of Internal Audit. Their main areas of examination involve Internal Controls, Risk Management and corporate governance methods. The role of Internal Auditor is to educate the staff members, employees and the whole management on how the business will work better and what changes will let the business complete its goals and objectives. They perform the whole Internal Audit process independently through various methods and investigation and after the completion of the audit he/ she make an internal audit report to provide to the management.

Core Competencies: Meaning in relation with Internal Auditor

The skills that are important and valuable to complete a particular type of task called Core Competency. When we core competencies in relation with the Internal Auditors it means the most important skills and knowledge that an Internal Auditor must possess or acquire for performing the Internal Audit more competent and compliant and more goal oriented. These skills are unmatched and cannot be ignored by the auditors. Any Internal Auditor must go through the following basic steps in order to acquire any core competency:

  • Identifying the Core Competency is the most important step in acquiring them. One auditor might have one skill that the other may lack, thus it is essential for the auditors to know which skills or areas they need to polish to make them more competent.
  • Prioritizing the core competency or the skill that the auditor requires is the next basic step. Once the Internal Auditor make a particular skill or set of skills his priority as per the needs of the environment then it becomes easy to acquire it.
  • Organizing the whole development process is another main task to be done at the organizational level. The organizations should provide with the training and skill developing programs in order to increase the efficiency of the auditors.

List of Core Competencies for Internal Auditor:

The key skills or core competencies that almost every Internal Auditor must have or acquire are-

  • Communication skills- The Internal Auditor must have exceptional communicational skills as he/ she is responsible to interact with all the employees and staff and management while providing Internal Audit Services. He/ she must be good in both oral as well as written communications.
  • Skills to provide and promote valuable Internal Audit- He/ she must be skillful to provide internal audit services that are valuable at every point. Also, they are the ones who should be promoting the importance and value of conducting internal audits in a company.
  • Organizational skills- They must possess this skill in order to manage time and projected areas of their work.
  • Skills for identifying a problem and providing for its solution- He/ she must have strong sense to identify the key areas of problem and should have the basic knowledge to provide for a solution to overcome it.
  • Keeping themselves updated with the changes in the regulatory standards and professional developments in the industry is very essential to walk hand in hand with the modern era.
  • Negotiation skills- A key skill for the Internal Auditor is the competency to resolve the conflicts that have arisen and negotiate efficiently wherever required.
  • Competency with various techniques, tools and framework of the Internal Audit is keen in order to have a proper evaluation during Internal Audit.
  • Confidentiality- The auditor must know how to keep the confidentiality of the matter or records and data whenever necessary.
  • Fluency in Foreign Language and culture- It is an added bonus for the auditor if they have knowledge of the regional culture, local language of a particular place. This can be beneficial in the long run.
  • Skills to change management- Sometimes the auditor must be strict enough to make changes in the management system for which he/ she needs proper skills.
  • Development and staff training- This is the priority for the organization to continuously develop and train the Internal Audit Staff to make them more competent and knowledgeable.
Author: Anil Agrawal
EZYBIZ India Consulting LLP, New Delhi. The firm is business and tax consultancy firm providing consultancy in Taxation, Regulatory, Transfer pricing, Valuation, Corporate funding and Business set up matters. He may be reached at 9899217778 or