I was recently interviewed by a freelancer who was magnanimous enough to share the manuscript of the interview with me. So, I am sharing the raw unedited version here for the benefit of all the readers of this accounting and finance blog.
Interviewer: How did you get into internal audit?
Me: I got into accounting in general not by chance but due to the fact that I enjoy working with numbers and thinking critically. It didn’t take long while studying accounting for me to realize that I have a knack for finding details that might have been missed by others.
At first, I thought internal auditing was all about finding and detecting errors but I later discovered that internal audit is all about adding value through collaboratively improving an entity’s systems.
Interviewer: Was it easy becoming the head of internal audit department?
Me: I didn’t just become the head of internal audit over night as there is no such thing as overnight success as many people erroneously think. My rise to the summit of internal audit was gradual. Through the help of all my colleagues and managers who oftentimes stretch me to my limits just to make sure that the best in me manifests. To them and God Almighty I owe a profound gratitude.
Interviewer: What do you have to say about the current role of internal audit and the expectation gap?
Me: the current role of the internal auditor has eventually become more likened to the role of a meticulous gardener who nurtures the entire garden into surviving and flourishing. A lot of responsibilities ranging from ensuring that corporate risks are in check to ensuring that the output of the financial systems of a company reports transactions fairly has been placed on the shoulders of the internal audit department.
Interviewer: How do you manage the work pressure of heading internal audit department?
Me: managing the expectation gap that characterizes our field is a non-trivial task. But, like I said before, the invaluable experiences gained from working with my amazing colleagues in different organizations and in different capacity sufficiently empowered me to calmly deal with all the pressure, one at a time.
Interviewer: How do you relax outside of work?
Me: oh, relaxing for me is doing those things that I enjoy doing. One of such is sharing my knowledge – which I have been doing on this site for over a decade now. The other is having my cute kids running around me with all kinds of mind-boggling questions with my lovely wife seated by my side.
Interviewer: What do you enjoy most about your role?
Me: I have worked quit a few other roles ranging from core finance role to ICT role but non-can be compared to the internal audit role. Simply put it this way, I enjoy the unending challenges that comes with the task of working in the internal audit team. I kind of also enjoy the fright in people’s face when they get an email from the internal auditors – awesome, maybe this is because I am wierdo!! Or I was a weirdo I should say.
Interviewer: What are your proudest moments as an internal auditor?
Me: my proudest moments as an internal auditor comes whenever I put a smile on my colleagues faces. I remember the broad smile that engulfed the face of an HR officer who received excel PAYE template with formula from me to make his work a little bit easier. My moments of joys also come each time I help my organization avert a risk that could have potentially cost the entity a fortune.
Interviewer: Who are the major people you work with in your role as head of internal audit?
Me: I practically work with every single stakeholder in any organization that I work with as an internal auditor. This is because of the pervasive nature of the internal auditor. I for example in the course of yearly review risk register hold meeting with the heads of every department in any organization that I have worked in.
Interviewer: Any word of advice to those aspiring to become head of internal audit department someday?
Me: my standard word suggestion to anyone aspiring to reach the peak of their career not just internal audit is to never stop learning. Some of the skills that I picked by the side like learning computer programming as an accountant really opened up a lot of doors of opportunities for me.
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