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Transition to Banking Industry but Remain in Internal Audit

Judy Juan's Profile

Internal Audit Career Path

I find it quite challenging to move from internal auditing in one industry to internal auditing in another industry.  The feedback is usually a requirement in experience/skills for that particular industry.  So my question is - how would one gain industry experience if they are not allowed to work in that industry?  I do have the internal audit experience as well as investigation experience, and am looking to take a step back in the new industry in order to advance in  my career.

On another note, do industries prefer internal auditors with no experience?  Recruiters are saying that it is difficult to move to industries such as banking, insurance, etc. - in my opinion, they seem to encourage candidates to just remain in a single industry.  So, interested in your insights about internal audit career path transitioning to another industry.

 

Answers

Ken Stumder
Title: Finance Director / Controller
Company: Ken Stumder, CPA
(Finance Director / Controller, Ken Stumder, CPA) |

Hi Judy - the banking industry is subject to a lot of regulation which is why it might not lend itself well to the type of transition that you are describing, especially for Director level internal auditor. I expect it would be different if you were more junior.

Judy Juan
Title: Director of Internal Audit
Company: Northern Westchester Hospital
(Director of Internal Audit, Northern Westchester Hospital) |

Hi Ken, thank you for your response. I am actually seeking a lower level rather than Director level position, then work my way up, as I would like to learn the industry. Internal auditors as part of their audit function should be looking at and ensuring that organizations or areas under audit are adhering to regulatory requirements, so yes there is a learning curve, but I do believe that we can adapt quickly.

Mark Richards
Title: VP of Finance & Operations
Company: RBA Consulting
(VP of Finance & Operations, RBA Consulting) |

https://www.proformative.com/blogs/mark-richards/2011/07/30/trying-switch-industries-what-skills-transfer

Judy - This post on Proformative may shed some light on why people seek industry experience.

In most cases, the company may not have time, especially in a role looking at compliance, to teach a new employee what to look - they want someone who already has a sense of what is critical for managing risk and likely have active risk to be managed (ask yourself if someone with no industry background could take on your current role).

For recruiters, it's important to understand that the companies hiring them have given a very specific set of requirements to fulfill - so a recruiter is not looking for talent (the company could do that), they are looking for specific talent - so take their advice with that in mind.

One method to switch industries is to first move to one that is similar to where you work today - that will prove to that you have the capability to succeed. I've seen other finance professionals use a similar strategy as it was an easier move than an entirely new industry.

Another thought is to step into a role that is less critical to compliance as internal audit, but can leverage your business/accounting skills and the industry fit is less important.

Hope this gives you some starting ideas.

Mark

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