What are the qualities that are essential for internal auditors who want to gain a professional edge in a constantly shifting business environment? Robert Half and The Institute of Internal Auditors released a white paper outlining just those attributes.

Gone are the days when employers looked just for functional knowledge when evaluating job candidates for internal auditor. They're assessing non-technical skills as well.

If you're an internal auditor or would like to become one, you may be interested in these seven attributes of highly effective internal auditors to help your career. If you're a manager, hiring someone with these attributes will improve and simplify your hiring and retention processes, help you build a world-class team and strengthen your reputation.

1. Integrity

This characteristic is a must-have quality at all levels of the function. Internal auditors need to exhibit integrity as well as trust, independence and objectivity in all their work. Resiliency represents another facet of integrity.

2. Relationship building

Cultivating trust and respect with other professionals throughout the business helps to build productive, highly collaborative and mutually beneficial relationships.

3. Partnering

Effective partnering hinges on service orientation, or the ability to go out and execute via partnership with the business and operational leaders. It also requires the ability to spot and share best practices.

4. Communication

Effective communication extends beyond well-written reports and into verbal communication. Internal auditors need to maintain an ongoing and two-way (i.e., talking and listening) dialogue, both formally and informally, with the rest of the enterprise.

5. Teamwork

Intense collaboration can be required among auditors with different areas of technical expertise. Key attributes include the ability to influence, lead and empathize, supported by sharp business acumen. Teamwork and team building has its challenges, but they can be addressed.

6. Diversity

Changing demographics and the accelerating pace of globalization require internal audit functions to influence and consult with a variety of ethnicities, nationalities, ages, cultures and subcultures.

7. Continuous learning

Are you naturally inquisitive? Do you refuse to accept a surface explanation? Intensely curious internal audit talent involves people who embrace learning and remain curious within environments that can change on a weekly or daily basis.

There's more to learn about the internal auditing career path, including salary expectations.

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