• Internal Auditor

    Internal auditors provide an independent and objective assessment of the effectiveness and efficiency of a company’s operations, specifically its internal control structure. The internal audit function helps an organization accomplish its objectives by bringing a systematic, disciplined approach to evaluate and improve the effectiveness of risk management, control, and governance processes. The scope of internal auditing is broad and may involve the efficiency of operations, IT controls, the reliability of financial reporting, deterring and detecting fraud, and compliance with laws and regulations. Internal Auditors may also conduct compliance and operational audits, offering solutions for weaknesses in internal controls and verifying that all laws and regulations are upheld. 


    Benefits of the CFE Credential

    According to the International Professional Practices Framework (IPPF), the internal audit activity must evaluate the potential for the occurrence of fraud and how the organization manages fraud risk. The CFE credential provides Internal Auditors with the knowledge and skills needed to perform this function when evaluating accounting systems, determining the degree of organizational fraud risk and following up on fraud indicators. Internal Auditors who are also CFEs are uniquely equipped to ensure that the proper controls are in place to successfully mitigate fraud. Although management and the Board are ultimately responsible for fraud deterrence, Internal Auditors can assist management by determining whether the organization has adequate internal controls and fosters an adequate control environment. The CFE credential is preferred by many employers, and Internal Auditors who have earned it are looked to as leading experts in the field.

    The ACFE’s global salary study found that CFEs earn a 31 percent income premium over their peers without the credential, which demonstrates the value employers place on the credential. The study also provides valuable information and comparisons helpful to all anti-fraud professionals in benchmarking their compensation levels and career growth. The training, fraud resources and continuing education provided by the ACFE will help in any stage of your career path. Refer to the Compensation section below for more information about the compensation ranges for Internal Auditors.

    Job Types

    Entry-level Internal Auditors must have the basic skills to review an organization’s processes, operations and goals. Other essential job functions include collecting, analyzing and examining company records to ensure proper compliance based on laws and regulations, and summarizing and preparing findings reports. A bachelor’s degree is usually required, preferably in accounting, finance, business administration or computer information systems. However, internal auditors come from an array of educational backgrounds.

    Lead/senior Internal Auditors understand the organization, provide value-added solutions and are familiar with the industry's best practices. They work with management to monitor internal controls, mitigate risks posed to the organization and provide feedback about audit plans. A bachelor’s degree and three to five years of related experience is usually required.

    Internal Audit supervisors/managers are required to supervise the auditors on staff, assist in the planning, testing and executing of internal audit activities, and examine and monitor the company’s system of internal controls. A bachelor’s degree and five to eight years of related experience is usually required.

    Internal Audit executives/chief audit executives (CAE) oversee the internal audit department. They participate in management and execution of audit plans, and lead and direct the audit team. A bachelor’s degree and eight or more years of related experience, as well as proven management experience are usually required. This position should report to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the organization.

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    A bachelor’s or master’s degree is required for any level of Internal Auditor. Many companies encourage obtaining the Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE), Certified Internal Auditor (CIA), and/or Certified Public Accountant (CPA). Other valuable designations include the Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) or Certified Government Auditing Professional (CGAP).

    Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

    It is important to plan and conduct an honest self-assessment of your knowledge, skills and abilities. In particular, employers are looking for:


    Business and industry standards

    Internal controls

    Governance, risk and compliance

    Components of financial statements

    Accrual accounting

    International Professional Practices Framework (IPPF)

    Sarbanes-Oxley Act

    Computer applications and their functions



    Ability to problem solve

    Critical thinking


    Attention to detail

    Drawing conclusions from raw data

    Verbal communication

    Written communication

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    Below are compensation ranges for Internal Auditors taken from the 2017/2018 Compensation Guide for Anti-Fraud Professionals:


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