A look at why companies are moving past the days of staffing internal audit departments with nearly all CPAs

It's no secret that internal audit departments are doing a wider variety of audits that increasingly take them outside the financial reporting sphere. They are also changing the way they staff the department to keep up with that trend. They are hiring non-traditional auditors with backgrounds in technology and other disciplines and finding employees with more varying business experiences.

In this second installment of our new series, "MISTI on Audit," Joel F. Kramer, vice president of internal audit curriculum at MIS Training Institute, offers his views on why it's important to widen the aperture on what the typical internal auditor looks like, including his or her background, specialties, and experience.

“There’s been a fundamental change in how internal audit departments do their staffing and a lot of this has to do with enterprise risk modeling and for the audit department to be addressing the organization’s key risks,” says Kramer. “In order to do that, we’ve had to broaden where we look for the A-level talent that we need.” 

According to the former auditor, audit departments are increasingly looking for staffers with business and technology savvy and backgrounds in such varied fields as forensics, data analytics, and fraud. "We need this to be able to identify the most significant risks and then attest that the key controls are working against these risks," he says.

More audit departments are also looking to other parts of the company for potential hires. "People with business experience can add so much to this," says Kramer. "They've been there, they've been through it, and they know what they are looking for."