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Managers learning to appreciate internal audit

Business' focus on risk and analysis sees internal audit and senior finance staff better appreciated, finds Hays

13 Apr 2012 Accountancy Age

By Kevin Reed

INTERNAL AUDIT SKILLS are in demand as businesses focus on better analysing and understanding risk, according to recruiter Hays.

Launching its Senior Finance Salary & Benefits Guide 2012, Nik Pratap, director at Hays Senior Finance, said that finance directors and other senior risk managers were being better-received by operational heads due to the importance placed on consultation and analysis during business' decision-making process.

"Not only does this mean operational heads and line managers more readily regard internal audit and risk colleagues as trusted business partners, it also boosts the appeal of individual career opportunities amongst candidates who perhaps a couple of years ago would have preferred to avoid these roles," said Pratap.

Some 60% of respondents think staff retention will be an important focus for their organisation over the next 12 months, with 43% predicting it will be harder to retain staff as the economy improves.

Corporate employers' top priorities when looking at new candidates for senior roles in their finance function include: a proactive approach to serving as a business partner; understanding finance's role in mitigating risk; and identifying areas of cost reduction.

In other findings, smaller tax practices have focused on recruiting around the wealth management area, while the Big Four have centred on more mainstream areas such as indirect taxes, transfer pricing and expatriate tax.

In-house tax teams are under pressure to minimise tax bills while staying on the right side of the taxman - this has created opportunities for tax experts from the Big Four and mid-tier firms to move into commerce roles.

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