The role of the internal auditor is one of the top 10 positions in today's competitive hiring market, and internal auditor salary ranges remain strong.
In this era of growth opportunities, internal auditors are key to efficient businesses operations. They must anticipate and respond to a constant stream of new challenges — many of which deliver uncertain and still-unfolding risk implications, from emerging technologies and new auditing requirements and standards to rapidly evolving business conditions.
An internal auditor can work in a public or private setting, in a small or large company, and in financial services. As more organizations find out just how critical a role internal auditing plays, the career path becomes even more fertile.
Internal auditor salary expectations
The room for growth in this sector is large. The 2018 Robert Half Salary Guide projects that an internal auditor with one to three years of experience is $69,000 at the midpoint, and for a senior internal auditor, $85,000.
The midpoint salary for an internal auditor manager is expected to be $110,000, and for an internal audit director, the Salary Guide estimates a $175,000 salary.
At the midpoint, candidates have average experience with the necessary skills to meet the job requirements. The salaries listed in the Salary Guide reflect starting pay only and are based on actual placements throughout the United States, as well as an analysis of the market conditions.
Duties and expectations
Internal auditors are responsible for evaluating and contributing to the improvement of company operations, including risk management and control processes. The Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) provides governing standards that each internal auditor must follow. Internal auditor jobs entail the following functions:
- Examining financial statements for accuracy and conformance with laws and regulations
- Assessing financial operations and making best-practices recommendations to management
- Suggesting ways to reduce costs, enhance revenue and improve profits
- Reporting risk management issues and internal operations deficiencies to management
Professional experience and skills
As more and more companies become aware of the value of adding an internal auditor to their teams, the demand for this highly competent and skilled role continues to rise. Internal auditor jobs require a bachelor's degree in accounting or a related field, although some companies may prefer a master's degree in accounting or business administration.
Additional designations are also valued, such as certified internal auditor (CIA), certified government auditing professional (CGAP), certified financial services auditor (CFSA), certification in control self-assessment (CCSA) and certification in risk management assurance (CRMA).
As highlighted by a white paper co-published by Robert Half and the IIA, hiring managers are looking for seven nontechnical attributes in an internal auditor:
- Integrity — due to the delicate and sophisticated nature of internal auditor jobs.
- Relationship building — in order to successfully collaborate with other auditing professionals.
- Teamwork — to collaborate across departments with coworkers.
- Partnering skills — to balance customer service, leadership and regulatory requirements.
- Communication skills — both verbal and written, for relaying messages and presenting data effectively.
- Diversity — to view problems through various perspectives results in smarter solutions.
- Thirst for continuous learning — to stay current.
This specialized area of accounting requires a keen eye, attention to detail and a high level of integrity. Are you ready to take the next step?
Editor's note: This post was updated recently to reflect information from the 2018 Salary Guide.