Why I chose to be an internal auditor?

Was it the rush of doing the work or the analyses of identifying risk? Was it the thrill of the numbers the ample calculation after calculation or the thrill of doing a T account? I taught myself accounting in high school because my teacher did not know how to get through to most in our class. Study and Master was my name, my tattered and torn orange A5 hard cover book. I remember sitting with a tutor to make me understand the T account of petty cash. Petty cash which seems so simple now was my never ending nightmare. The tutor told me you don’t know your basics, I was confused basics what are those. I thank God because that was my turning point.

I knew my basics practice makes perfect they say. “I didn’t finish”, I thought but I reached the last question of my exam pack. I didn’t want to be a chartered accountant; it amazed me at how distinct my decision was back then but I applied for Bcom: Accounting at the University of the Western Cape and I applied to do a ND: Internal Auditing at Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT). My applications were accepted at both institutions and I went to CPUT to do a National Higher Certificate in Accountancy (NHC). You may say a NHC is not what you applied for but it was the beginning of my wonderful journey into Internal Auditing.

It was in Financial Accounting class that I received my first distinction. That was my second turning point, at the end of my first year I made the Dean’s Merit list! I was ecstatic; mind you I didn’t even know what this list was all about at the time. My decision was internal auditing, I didn’t want to just do financial statements or tax returns I wanted more, I needed to hear more. My lecturers told stories of how it would be in practice. We learnt the IIA standards, we learnt the ethics, and we registered to become student members.

Everything we were taught was hands on from the projects to the exams. I remember doing a corporate governance review on SAB Miller at the time King 3 was just launched, we utilised King 1, 2 and 3 my group received a distinction for this assignment. In exams we were identifying risks, creating controls, writing up findings as per the IIA standards. I remember doing detailed reviews of PWC’s approach to the implementation of King 3. As a student I went to IIA forum after IIA forum. We did it all, it was my magical wonderland.

And now 3 years and 4 months later, I look back and I realised its even better than I imagined it to be because in real time I see the value that I add on my clients faces when I walk through their doors for the second time around. I see the value that we bring even though at first encounters our clients may not yet see our value. To date I remember the words of my 3rd year lecturer, “Internal Auditors have personality and wit!” I could never figure out why he said but today you and I know why he said that.

When deadlines hit, tempers flare, money pressure emerges I urge you to remember why you chose to be an Internal Auditor…

#IIASA #IIA #Internal-Auditors

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