A day in the life: Working in Internal Audit

Daisy desk

Daisy is a Audit Senior within our Internal Audit community.

My job involves supporting a range of governance, risk and compliance audits that often cut across the whole of the Society. Whilst a challenge to manage expectations, I love the variety my roles brings and it’s a great feeling when you successfully help these areas navigate and understand the audit requirements.

I started my Nationwide career after spending time as a Risk Officer with the Medical Research Council (MRC), I wanted to stretch myself in a new sector that would challenge the interpersonal skills I’d built in my previous work. I moved to Nationwide as a risk manager in the Finance area, and have been with the Society ever since. My risk manager role has really evolved over the years, which kept me motivated and challenged me to develop new skills.

Our Internal Audit function really embraces internal expertise by inviting colleagues to take on ‘guest auditor’ roles, which I’ve benefited from. There’s also a positive attitude towards secondments, both in and out of the area, for this reason.

My day starts at 5:20am, which sounds horrendous to most but I’m very used to it. My husband works in London (also as an auditor) and gets up this early for the train. I use this opportunity to practice figure skating at the local ice rink before work, which is a luxury I never thought I’d be able to enjoy again once I joined the working world!

I head into the office most days and tend to operate on an ‘early in, early out’ basis. I work from home once a week to allow time to review documents and prepare longer work papers. Nationwide is a big supporter of flexible working and having time away from a lively office is helpful for my concentration. 

No two days are the same as my work varies depending on what stage my audit is in. If we’re in fieldwork, I’ll often jump between meetings and phone calls for the first four days of the week and book time out on Fridays to review documents. If we’re evaluating controls, I’ll be in the Swindon HQ most days, using sticky notes, whiteboards and mind maps to help bring to life the processes with stakeholders and within my team.

My best day at work so far was when I participated in an audit interview of the Deputy CEO. This role puts you right in front of the key decision-makers, and I find it fascinating to see how they think and respond to challenging questions. Understanding their needs and what they need to know has really helped me shape my stakeholder communications. I love the wide variety of people I get to interact with, all who have opened my eyes to different ways of thinking and working. There is never a dull day in the office because of it!

The most challenging part of my job is keeping everyone happy. No business area likes to be audited, especially if they’ve already had a recent audit or review. Some stakeholders can be frosty with auditors at the first point of contact, but I’ve learned to remain professional and pragmatic when responding.

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