I recently shared results of an academic research report that indicated companies seek internal auditors who have accounting, information technology, and business systems knowledge after experiencing major control and risk management failures. The report said companies are “more likely to post an internal auditor job after the revelation of accounting and operational failures” and “more severe accounting and operational failure revelations are associated with an increased demand for the CPA and the CISA (Certified Information Systems Auditor) credentials.”
The findings set off a new debate on social media about why accountants are still considered the gold standard for internal audit talent. My response? Such thinking is naïve and outdated. As many seasoned internal auditors (and those who depend on internal audit) will agree, you do not have to be an accountant to be a good internal auditor!