The Rise of Internal Audit in New Zealand

Over the last year, we have seen a fast-growing trend among New Zealand organisations opting to bring the function of Internal Audit in-house. This has led to a surge in demand for Internal Audit professionals, as businesses seek to uplift their Internal Audit capabilities and improve their Risk Management processes.

This shift has been driven by various factors, including the ever-changing regulatory environment (which is picking up pace), the realisation of the value of Internal Auditors beyond compliance, and cost-effectiveness.

Regulators such as the RBNZ and the FMA are now paying more attention to the effectiveness of internal controls and Risk Management practices, putting businesses under increased scrutiny. This has caused businesses to feel heightened pressure to take more responsibility for their own Risk Management.

Internal Auditors can provide incredible value to an organisation outside of solely Compliance. They can identify and mitigate different risks, improve operational efficiency, and provide strategic insights to support decision-making. By bringing this function in-house, businesses can regularly tap into this talent to help provide insights from a Compliance, Risk, and operational efficiency point of view.

The cost-effectiveness of in-house Internal Audit is another major factor, as it reduces the reliance on expensive external auditors. Businesses can now hire a single Senior Internal Audit professional to build a framework from scratch, with the intention of developing a team below them, reducing the need for external resources. And as we all know, Non-Compliance is a heck of a lot more expensive than Compliance!

The trend towards incorporating internal audit has created a rising demand for internal audit professionals, and with that has increased salaries significantly. Companies are looking for experienced auditors who can help them build up their internal audit capabilities (sometimes from scratch) and develop more effective risk management processes.

If you would like to find out more about the role of an Internal Auditor or the market in general, please contact Consultant, Kieran Leese. Kieran specialises in the recruitment of Risk & Compliance roles.

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