How to Move from Audit to Risk

How to move from Audit to RiskMoving between a bank’s or business’ lines of defence is a manageable feat and one you may want to accomplish during your career. Specifically it is very common for individuals to move from the third line of defence, internal audit, into the second line of defence, risk. But what should you be aware of in order to make the transition successfully?


Daniel Ostermeyer, Director of Risk Advisory at Deloitte, suggests that the first port of call should be your manager or coach. They hold the cards when it comes to playing your move effectively. Think carefully about the conversations you have with them regarding your future within the company and discussions around your intentions for your career. You want to have the right conversations with them in order to set you up for the move you intend to make within the business.


In the same vein, Ostermeyer asserts that it is just as important to foment relationships with the risk team you are seeking to move into. Factors like whether you are the right culture fit for that specific team and your personal rapport with the people you’re hoping to work with are important both in reinforcing your decision to move and encouraging the support of the team you plan to move into. You will of course liaise with them from an audit standpoint, so use every opportunity to foster that positive connection.


Working in audit presents its own opportunities for laying the groundwork towards moving to work in risk. Utilise your role in audit to convey your intentions for a career in risk by demonstrating an interest and more importantly, ability when it comes to risk related audits.


Not only jobs in internal audit but also roles in external audit provides a strong bedrock if you’re hoping to move into other areas of the business. “The ability to understand and interrogate financial statements is a great strength,” says Ostermeyer. Not to mention that the very groundwork which set you on the path to a career in audit can serve you well down the track. There is intense dedication required to obtain audit qualifications, points out Ostermeyer. Candidates will have balanced their studies alongside working long hours deep in an audit and this, Ostermeyer says, provides key learnings and experience that individuals can draw on later in their career.


There are many areas where audit and risk overlap, though of course with differing goals when it comes to the risk management framework, the role of risk within the business, the company’s level of accountability particularly with regards its internal controls and of course keeping the business in line with what is expected by the Board Audit and Risk Committee. With this in mind, when it comes to moving from audit to risk, understand which of your skills are transferable and what that means for how your role within the business will change. Communicating this at interview will reassure your employer that you have thought through and considered your move and how you will add value working in risk.

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