Morgan International | Beyond Professional Training Request a Call

*red highlight indicates mandatory fields

Discover The Diverse World of The CIA

Posted on March 1, 2015 2:00 pm;

Share this article:

So who can be a CIA?

Pretty much anyone! Of course you have to meet the requirements and pass the exams, but you don’t have to be from an accounting background to begin with.

How can I know I am suited to internal audit?

There are certain skills that make a good internal auditor: you should be good at communication (you have to liaise with top management), have an understanding of how business works, and, of course, a strong aptitude for numbers.

Why become a CIA if accounting is not my background?

Most people go into the CIA because they see it as a strong career move, offering excellent prospects for promotion, higher salaries, professional respect, and the opportunity to understand the workings of an organization inside out.

So what does an internal auditor do?

Put at its most simple, as an internal auditor you add value and improve organization. The more complex answer is you evaluate and improve the effectiveness of risk management, control, and governance processes. If you like, you can consider yourself the “brains” of an organization, the one who knows how everything ticks, what is needed to make it work better and who helps steer strategy to protect and improve results. And while you get to liaise with management, you act independently of them and objectively, securing you a key role in how the organization functions.

Let’s take a look at a few examples of people who made the move into internal audit and why.

Steve Holt

Before moving into internal audit, Steve worked as an airport bar manager, catering manager and in customer service. After becoming a global file transfer manager for Experian, he moved into internal audit for the company in 2013. He says:

“I’m understanding business processes I would never have had exposure to previously. And there’s the opportunity for travel as well, which is a big driver for me.”

Jennifer Hendricks

After a degree in international business studies, a stint in the US army, and 15 years as a professional buyer during which time she liaised with internal auditors, Jennifer felt like a change. She says:

“I was always thinking about what the auditor would do, and then I thought, maybe I should just go for it.”

Laurie Schmidt

Laurie had degrees in engineering and law before joining Shell in engineering and operations roles in 1990. In 2012 she became Shell’s head of audit upstream and projects and technology, a role that has taken her to Russia and Nigeria. Laurie notes that former Shell chief executive Peter Voser was once himself the company’s group chief internal auditor, and she sees her move into internal audit as a way to bring change. She says:

“I wanted to make a difference in the way auditees experience the audit process, to continue to improve that area. When I was being audited, I always thought I would like to have a go because there were aspects where I felt I could come in and make a difference.”

Walter Obendrauf

After seven years as an assistant professor of polymer engineering and 14 years at Shell in reservoir engineering, Walter Obendrauf became Shell’s audit manager for reserves and hydrocarbon maturation, joint ventures and new business development in 2012.

He says:

“I can learn what is going on all round the world in Shell and about other technical disciplines. I meet people at all levels, and it’s a job that gives great exposure to senior leadership.”

Become a CIA today and join an elite community of professionals! Here’s what it takes.


Blow, P. (2014) Outside Information (Accessed July 2014)

Quinn, L. R. An Inside Look At Internal Auditors (Accessed July 2014)

Walker, G. (2010) What does internal audit do and why do they do it? (Accessed July 2014)

Mason, B. Internal Auditors in Demand (Accessed July 2014)

Share this article: