Interview with a Data Analyst Internal Audit

in 9 to 5 type jobs, Salaried Jobs, Tech Jobs



What do you do for a living?

I am a Data Analyst for a large private comapny, specializing in Data Analytics for an internal audit department.

How would you describe what you do?

I use specialized software and techniques that look at large amounts of data to look at trends or patterns for the internal audit department. The software we use is specialized for this purpose. Through this software, my team can develop continuous monitoring reports for various areas of the business that show exceptions for business managers to review.

What does your work entail as a Data Analyst?

I use a program called Audit Command Language (ACL) to analyze data for specific projects. Excel has limitations, both with the amount of data it can review at once (60,000 records for Excel 2003, 1,000,000 records for Excel 2007) and the type of analysis it can provide. ACL is designed to look at data in unique ways specifically geared toward internal audit objectives. It also has no limitations on the amount of data it reviews, which is very helpful in large company. It’s not unusual to review millions of lines of data at a time. The biggest advantage of ACL is that it allows for a review ot an entire population. Traditional auditing techniques use a sample size and extrapolate results based on the results of testing of that sample size. By testing the entire population, the results have much more impact when presenting to business owners.

How did you get started?

I started in the internal audit department and worked for almost 2 years conducting traditional operational, financial, and regulatory audits. I viewed the Data Analytics Team as a chance to expand my skills as an auditor and to review and analyze companywide data.

What do you like about what you do?

I really enjoy the impact of the data that we review. Also, the continuous monitoring reports we develop have proved very helpful to our business owners in maintaining compliance in the various areas of the business.

What do you dislike?

I sit in front of a computer screen most of the day. I miss the travel component of traditional audits and the interaction with people.

How do you make money/how are you compensated?

Salary, $60K — $70K.

How much money do you make as a Data Analyst?

$60K — $70K salary.

How much money do you make starting out?

$60K — $70K salary.

What education or skill are needed to do this?

Bachelor’s degree in Accounting/Finance. Analytical skills. Proficiency in Excel a big plus.

What is most rewarding about this job?

I really enjoy the impact of the data that we review. Also, the continuous monitoring reports we develop have proved very helpful to our business owners in maintaining compliance in the various areas of the business.

What is most challenging?

Learning ACL can be a challenge when you first begin. ACL is not very intuitive or user friendly if you are used to Excel or Microsoft based products. There is definitely a learning curve.

What advice would you offer someone considering being a Data Analyst?

Start out in an internal audit department first to really understand the business. If you have an aptitude and enjoy the analysis piece of internal audit, this career might be for you.

How much time off do you get/take?

22 days per year

What’s a common misconception people have about what you do?

It is boring work. It’s not.

What are your goals and dreams for the future?

To use the skills I have gained in my data analytics role, combine them with my traditional audit skills, and obtain a position in audit management.

What else would you like people to know about what you do?

Dont’ be afraid to try a different path in your career. The more skills and abilities you can develop as an auditor, the more attractive you will be for that next promotion.



{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Casani October 25, 2016 at 9:10 pm

Thank you so much for this post. I recently got promoted to a Pharmacy Audit Analyst position and I am a bit nervous about how I will do. I’ve been an auditor for 3 years and really wanted to expand my knowledge and learn more. I start soon and after reading this I feel a great deal better about going into this new career. Thanks again!


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