An Essential New Hire
Edited by Michael D. Marinaccio
After a long period of post-recession downsizing, a chief auditor receives authorization to hire just one new staff member and must now carefully consider what qualities that individual should possess.
Tumbling Dice Resorts owns and operates casino resorts in the United States that offer gaming, hotel accommodations, retail facilities, dining, entertainment, and other resort amenities. It also owns and operates golf courses and a golf club. Employing more than 20,000 individuals, the company’s operations and results have been negatively affected by the poor economic climate. Consequently Tumbling Dice has undergone a restructuring effort, accompanied by significant layoffs.
Joe, the vice president of internal audit, has seen his own department significantly downsized and his budget reduced. He didn’t understand why he was asked to eliminate staff positions when he believes internal audit to be so beneficial to the company, particularly during difficult times. When Joe raised this concern with the chief financial officer (CFO), he was told that internal audit would not be the exception and that it would have to undergo reductions just like the other departments.
Initially, Joe went along with the spirit of the downsizing initiative. He really had no other choice. He couldn’t get over the fact that senior management did not see the value internal audit provided. Joe knew of many colleagues whose audit departments had also faced severe cutbacks during the recession. He met with several of them and was able to implement some ideas to help make his department more efficient. Still, despite these efforts, the department is not on track to complete its audit plan.
During a recent meeting with the chairman of the audit committee, Joe explained that his department is having difficulty covering key risks. A subsequent meeting with the chair and the CFO led to authorization for Joe to hire one additional auditor, though he’s now feeling pressure to produce more value-added results. Joe needs to think carefully about his criteria for the new hire.
Now that he can hire just one more auditor, what qualities should this person ideally possess?
How would you handle this scenario? Share your comments below.
An essential new hire
The modern day internal auditing is all about value addition. If I am in the position of Joe, I would hire the candidate who has ‘the eye for details,’ thinks out of the box and has a positive attitude. Once I know that the person has all the three above qualities, then I would go for the qualifications as CIA and industry experience. These qualities weigh in equally with the qualifications and experience and at time you will see the real star performer with these qualities than regular auditors.
Posted By: Rajat Sawaria
2011-10-16 7:33 AM
Before you begin to Hire!
Most of the time we are so consumed in the long waited opportunity that we just leap a step forward when it comes to us.
Requirements are usually well defined through the macro culture of industry and micro culture of organizations.
What really matters is that who is about to join should be chosen with the focus on problems faced now and ahead.
Here there is a team of auditors which need to be assessed in terms of their skills and a standard skill set of department should be listed down. Now you can easily identify which skill set is nessesory but audit team is unable to fulfil it to the desired level.
This can be focused easily when selecting the auditor and will solve the issue of adjustment in team. Remember, a good candidate can bring motivation and efficiency but a incompetible or overlapping choice may have disasterous affects and department may fall into anarchy which may lead to low quality work as well as demoralization of staff.
Posted By: Sohaib Ahmed Siddiqui
2011-10-10 3:46 AM
An essential new hiring
In my opinion new hire is critical considering the difficulties faced by the IAA department and incomplete activities. Hiring should based on the following essential qualities,
1- He should be competent and competency stemps from qualification in the relevant field and hence should be a qualified certified accountant
2- Relevant industry experience is needed in order to ensure less resources are required to acquaint him / her quickly to situation / challenging conditions
3- In order to test for proven record and high ethical / moral compliance back ground check is must.
4- Interview him for obtaining knowledge about his personality and aspiration for becoming part of the new team.
5- Must be a good team player.
Posted By: Muhammad Azher Iqbal
2011-10-07 5:57 AM
An Essential New Hire
Excellent discussion here and a lot of good suggestions. I’d like to add that if I’m Joe, I’m kind of in the "hot seat". No matter what I may think, my function really hasn’t been considered a value-add by management. In fact, I had to perform a strategic end-around on the CFO to get this hiring opportunity. At this point, I need to start demonstrating value to my stakeholders. The potential candidate obviously needs to have a solid audit background and credentials; that’s a given. I have an audit plan to execute and after this hire, I had better complete it. What I really need now is an impact player, someone who understands the business and the risks it faces. A person, who can both delve into detail and yet see and explain the big picture. Someone who understands auditing and yet doesn’t talk “audit speak”, but communicates like a business manager. And not only someone who is a self-starter, but someone who is a finisher or better yet, a strong closer.
Posted By: Mike Marinaccio
2011-10-06 3:52 PM
new auditor essentials
I think an important first step is to evaluate the team you have and identify weaknesses. You would look for new team member to fill in the blanks.
Posted By: Karen DeRoode Marron
2011-10-06 2:43 PM
An Essential New Hire
Every auditor has a unique set of characteristics/qualities. When hiring don't just look for Professional Qualification such as CIA, CISA, etc. Although these are well recognized certificates. Some candidate are just good test taker and can pass certification in their first attempt. I have hired them in the past, but found out they are not a diversified auditor. Look for the following characteristics:
• Experience – Few years of experience in working in different departments or industries.
• Looking for candidate with broad range of graduate degrees. Hiring someone with Master’s or MBA in Business Management, Strategy & Operations, Finance and Information Systems might help you in the long-run.
• Candidate need to Focus on Customer, Act with Integrity, Value People and Work Collaboratively.
• Communication – Both Oral and Written
Posted By: Asif Vavanan
2011-10-06 12:33 PM
Prime Auditor Qualities
I have just gone through the process of hiring a new audit team. The director and two managers (of which I am one) gathered a list of the most important auditor characteristics. We already have a certain level of education and work experience as a given. So, we decided to focus mostly on characteristics and fit within the team. I respectfully disagree with the post above. I do not think the manager should look for a candidate similar to him/herself. That could make a good audit team. However, a great audit team is diverse. You may have disagreements at first, as you learn to work together, but that will subside. You will be left with a strong, cohesive team because each person can fill the spaces of others weaknesses. I would suggest the use of behavior interviews and the Birkman Assessment or similar behavior assessment. For qualities, the auditor must be Ethical, with flawless integrity, able to function in a team environment, and have customer service forefront in their mind at all times. The auditor must also show initiative, be able to manage change, be respectful to all, and show an eagerness to continual learn about the industry and auditing best practices. AND one of my biggest pet peeves...They MUST know how to WRITE! (You would be surprise how many poor resumes I've gotten through this process. I even started giving the candidates a question to which they had to write the answer. That way, I could get a writing sample to determine if they would be able to write audit reports.)
Posted By: LeAnn Garza
2011-10-06 10:30 AM
A new hire requires introspection
We are looking for the “Holy Grail” for the candidate, but we should take the time to identify the personality and style of the manager. Do you have a structured environment or have you not put together an audit program in the last 7 years? Do you share with your staff the current task list and communications or operate as the gatekeeper? Are you still making paper binders while the rest of the world is electronically focused? Do you have work life balance or are you a divorced workaholic? In reality, the manager will be most satisfied with someone that sees the “world” the same way they do. Make life easier and find “that” candidate.
Posted By: Clifton Coffman
2011-10-06 9:31 AM
An essencial new hire
Estimado: Primero que todo hay que tener en claro cual es la composición del equipo actual y el plan a llevar adelante.
El plan, está unido a los objetivos del área, en función a esto y a las cualidades del resto del equipo hay que analizar cual es la necesidad. Por su puesto esto también está relacionado a la cultura de control que tenga la compañía. Contratar a alguien con experiencia implica una adaptación más rápida al trabajo y que se logre un ritmo operativo más rápido, el costo es mayor, buscar un Ssr o un Jr, tendrá un costo de formación mayor y un tiempo de maduración en el trabajo mayor, hay que ver cual es la restricción presupuestaria, y los recursos que se consigan en el mercado. También la necesidad que tenga el equipo, y como el mismo esté conformado socialmente, digamos, si hay un fuerte lider que pueda formar a un SSr o Jr quizás sea más sencillo, por otro lado poner dos Sr juntos puede generar un ambiente tenso y termina siendo otra complicación más.
Espero te haya servido mi punto de vista, saludos.
Álvaro Marcelo Espinel
Contador Público UBA
Posted By: Alvaro M. Espinel
2011-10-06 8:21 AM
An essential new hire
If I were Joe, I would ensure that the following key characteristics/qualities should be present in an candidate.
Professional Qualification e.g CIA, ACA, ACCA
Relevant work experience in Finance and Audit (either external or Internal).
Good communication and presentation skills.
Ability to prepare audit reports highlighting audit findings and suggesting practical & realistic audit recommendations.
Posted By: Ardeshir Wania
2011-10-05 12:09 AM
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