We interviewed one of our auditors. Diverse, challenging, valuable. These are the keywords our auditor chose to describe his job. We asked what it takes to become an auditor and what positive aspects this job has to offer. Our auditor also has a good tip!
What do you like most about the profession of an auditor?
What I like most about my job is its variety. Besides the fact that I perform different types of audits, I also visit different (types of) customers, at different locations and I work together with different colleagues during the audits. Even when I audit different customers on the same standard, the work is varied. This is because customers can implement a standard at their own discretion, which means the effect can be different every time.
What does your everyday work consist of?
Besides performing the audits, my work consists of ‘managing the client file’. This means, among other things, that I prepare audits by planning them and write reports to communicate the audit results to the client. In addition, it may happen that so-called ‘nonconformities‘ are identified during the audits. To resolve a nonconformity, a client must draw up an action plan which is assessed by me as the auditor. Auditors also carry out internal quality checks on each other’s files and we are sometimes involved in internal projects.
How did you come to be an auditor?
I once started in Retail as a side job. After my ICT studies, I continued to develop within Retail. Eventually, I was asked for the position of ‘Store Auditor’. In this position, I got to know the audit profession and I carried out audits within various supermarkets. At Brand Compliance, I have combined this auditing experience with the knowledge from my study and I perform audits related to information security, business continuity and privacy.
What qualities should be possessed as an auditor? What experience is needed?
As an auditor, you basically have to be a solid discussion partner for your clients. It is important that the audit flows as naturally as possible so that the client feels comfortable and successful conversations arise. It’s not just a matter of ticking off a list of standard requirements and judging clients on things they may not have mastered well. As an auditor you want to make a constructive contribution to the business of the client by looking at the processes in the organization in a pleasant, but critical way.
In order to be a good discussion partner, you as an auditor will have to adapt your communication to the person you are interviewing. You will speak to people from the shop floor to management/ directors/ owners. One person is nervous, the other only answers with yes/no and yet another makes everything look better than it actually is.
In addition, you will need to be knowledgeable. Not only about the content of the standard to be audited and the underlying material, but also about the type of business operations of the client. You have to know where the risks and opportunities lie for the specific client and be able to ask questions about it.
What are you satisfied with in your work?
I really like how colleagues work together and how the team spirit is maintained despite the fact we regularly go out alone. We can give each other open feedback, whit which we help each other to improve in our work.
What tips would you give someone who wants to do this job?
The difficulty in the work as an auditor is to find a good balance between the actual audit work and the tasks surrounding it. The tip here is to plan the necessary activities in good time and to ensure that the work is completed during the specific scheduled moments. As an auditor, you do not have the opportunity to say “what I can’t finish today, I’ll do tomorrow”. A new audit is scheduled for tomorrow. If you do not find the right rhythm in the work, this will quickly lead to an unworkable agenda pressure.
Do you have a particular anecdote or a special working day that has stayed with you?
As an auditor, you sometimes experience situations where the client has not implemented the standard correctly or not appropriate for the organization. During one of these audits, I received great feedback from the client that fits with ‘being a good discussion partner’.
The feedback was: “I have never been so happy with a 2 as an end result. ”
I feel that this feedback sums up exactly what you want to achieve as an auditor, which is to add value to the client’s business by critically assessing the organization’s processes.
Interested in a job as an auditor, please take a look at our vacancies!