How I became an internal auditor

How I became an internal auditorWhat is your title at Progeny and what does your role entail?  

I’m an Internal Auditor. The role of an Internal Auditor is to review business cases where financial advice has been given. The purpose of this is to look at the advice from a third person’s perspective and assess the suitability of the advice.

It’s also my responsibility to check that all documentation linked to that advice is on file and valid. This is important because the business has a responsibility to be compliant with regulatory bodies to ensure the paperwork linked to any advice given is accurate.

The role can also involve carrying out internal audits within the business. This could be the result of a particular situation or a change in process. An internal audit is carried out to gather management information to allow the business to assess that situation and then decide on the next course of action, if any is needed.

How long have you worked in your field?

I’ve been with Progeny since April 2020, however I have worked within financial services for over 10 years.

Why did you choose this profession?

I’ve always found numbers, statistics and financial analysis interesting and through a friend I started to investigate how to become a financial adviser. This made me more intrigued which resulted in me taking my CeMap / CeFa & Diploma qualifications enabling me to give regulated financial and mortgage advice. Through several changes within the industry and working within the banking sector I decided to enhance my financial knowledge and this led me to KPMG where I worked as an Investment Financial Reviewer. This was a highly confidential and trusted role within KPMG which, in a nutshell, involved assessing historic financial advice given through large organisations.

Have you always known (ie, since childhood, school) this was the area for you or did this develop over time?

It developed over time. I’ve also had an eye for detail and taken an interest in people which I believe has assisted in my continued career.

Tell us a bit about the education, qualifications and skills you need to do your job. 

Primarily I feel you must be people-centric with empathy and understanding of people’s needs and personal situation. You must have the ability to demonstrate emotional intelligence beyond that of just looking at the case in hand.

For me, qualifications are a necessity for the role, however my own personal and cultural awareness of an individual’s needs allows me to articulate and demonstrate not only qualified knowledge but engagement and full understanding.

You also need to be organised, patient, collaborative, agile, approachable and flexible! It is a very fast paced role where being part of a team and a team player within the Compliance team is essential.

What other routes through education/experience might people take to reach your role?

You could look to start in a compliance role and then build up experience of the industry where you may choose to get the qualifications needed to be able to file check advice given.

Moving out of a face-to-face advising role is an option, to move into a role where the individual is assessing the advice given from an impartial perspective.

Also, trainee financial advisers who feel that giving advice was not for them, could move into an auditing role as an alternative while still being able to use the qualifications they have gained.

What advice would you give to anyone wishing to follow in your career footsteps?

If you love a challenge in an environment which is constantly evolving, is governed by regulated authorities which brings structure to a business then this could be the role for you. If you like variety, detail and have a good sense of humour and strong team ethos then this is an avenue to be investigated further.

What do you see as the next steps in your career?

I’d like to look into gaining a wider portfolio of experience within other areas of the business. I would like to enhance my knowledge to be able to review advice which differs to that of financial planning.

Any last words of wisdom you’d like to add?

Whatever role or path you take in your career, the most important thing is to be happy, and try to have a little fun every day, remembering every day is a school day and you’re always learning something new.

Jennie Shearer

Internal Auditor

Jennie has over 10 years’ experience within financial services.

Learn more about Jennie Shearer