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Report: Internal audit leaders need to hire more tech-savvy accountants

Written on May 8, 2024

Companies hiring for internal audit should prepare for disruptive innovations by employing more technology-savvy workers who are ready to take on challenges in business strategy, according to a report by Deloitte for the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA). 

Internal audit leaders are trying to tap limited pools of expertise in both accounting and technology, according to IIA. 

“Internal audit is competing with some of the biggest names across the tech sector for graduates with backgrounds in AI, cybersecurity and data analytics," IIA CEO Anthony Pugliese said in a statement. 

In addition, “we are seeing some of the softer skills related to leadership and communication being prioritized by hiring managers,” he said. 

Internal audit leaders during the past five years most preferred hiring college graduates who have studied accounting, with 80% citing that undergraduate field, the IIA said. 

Internal audit and general business gained 53% and 44% preference levels, respectively, the institute said, reporting on survey results. Computer science and technology were favored by just 43%. 

“The evolving technology and risk landscape has expedited the need for internal audit to expand its talent and recruitment pool,” Pugliese commented. 

In their hiring, internal audit leaders need to prepare for disruption from new technology such as artificial intelligence and robotic process automation, IIA said. The innovations will free some staff for higher-value work while nudging some employees out of the profession. 

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