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3 keys to being a top-performing auditor



Being an internal auditor takes the right mix of skills.

To have successful internal audits, auditors need to bring several skills and traits to the game.

Internal auditing is a profession that attracts several different types of individuals. Auditors can come from varied backgrounds including accounting, finance, computer science, science, English, literature, biology, chemistry, or social services. Because the backgrounds of auditors are so varied, it can be difficult to nail down the skills necessary to succeed as an auditor. 

There are, at a higher level, three essential traits necessary to be a top-performing auditor.


Auditors must be present physically and mentally to satisfy client needs. Some auditors only communicate with clients when it is time to perform an audit. Like going to the dentist, if the only time they talk to you is when you have a cavity, you relationship with you clients will be sub-par.

A top auditor is present and attentive.

Auditors should make it a point to visit audit clients at least once per year, more if possible, outside of performing any audits. In person visits are best, but if time or budgets are tight, video conferencing can be an effective alternative. Visiting clients allow auditors and clients to put faces with names read via email.

The best auditors are passionate and proficient.

Passion and proficiency

Auditors must be proficient. Change is definite. Accordingly, auditors must continuously assess and update their skills.

Passion plays a significant role in proficiency. People are good at activities they like, with a few exceptions. A computer programmer is most likely passionate about coding, and eats, sleeps, and breathes code. Auditors with the same passion will become proficient auditors.


An auditor must first show up. Then, he or she must find a passion to become proficient. Finally, he or she actually perform. Presence, passion, and proficiency are no good if not put to use. If an auditor puts these pieces together, they will have the necessary tools for success.


Top auditors show up and perform.

Omitting any of these elements can have a drastic impact on the success of an internal audit.

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