An exclusive preview of one of the articles in this month’s magazine.
Coming soon: “Home advantage”
“It has always been essential in internal audit to have ‘softer’ skills, such as good relationship building and communication – and I don’t think that will ever change,” says Smith. “A big part of the job of our risk assessment team is sitting down with people, listening and understanding their views, and then helping them to articulate what they see as the key risks,” she adds.
When Smith interviews people for jobs in her department, it is these skills – or the potential lack of them – that she is most alert to in a candidate.
“I ask myself whether I would like to be audited by this person,” she says. “Would I be happy to put them in front of the company’s IT director or the marketing director? If someone isn’t equipped with great interpersonal skills and is not able to build
good working relationships with their boss, the finance director, the board, the audit committee and key managers, I don’t think they are capable of doing an effective job.”
Even in the risk assessment elements of Kingfisher’s activities, Smith rates the importance of interpersonal skills highly.
“A big part of the job of our risk assessment team is sitting down with people, listening and understanding their views, and then helping them to articulate what they see as the key risks,” she says.
“They have to be able to deal with people diplomatically, develop relationships with them and also challenge and question their views constructively,” she adds.
Want to find out more?
Look out for the full feature – “Home advantage” – in the next issue of Audit & Risk.