Author:Jackson, Russell A.

The paradigm for young audit professionals is shifting rapidly. Continuing a trend established by each successive group of Emerging Leaders over the last few years, 2017's class started their careers remarkably well-prepared and laser-focused on internal auditing. In fact, some began making career plans as early as high school; and some have returned to their alma mater post-graduation to help educate others on the profession. These practitioners aren't nonaudit professionals who just happened to answer an internal audit want ad. Moreover, they're what might be called "post-IT-literate." In other words, they don't see computer skills as a necessary asset for getting ahead at the office. Proficiency with data and software is assumed; it's been an integral part of their entire lives. They think in terms of maximizing process improvement through data analytics and leveraging sophisticated IT in routine audit engagements. And this year's crop embraces the role of trusted advisor. They're ready to take a seat at the C-suite table, to advise the business on high-level risk assessment and mitigation, and to use their unique perspective to spot problems and opportunities that impact the success of the organization. These ambitious, talented practitioners are steeped in the profession, poised to take on new challenges, and ready to lead.





It's time for internal auditors to get the credit they deserve, and EVERET ZICARELLI is doing what he can to accomplish that. In fact, the University of Delaware graduate says the profession should place more emphasis on marketing internal auditing as an exciting and rewarding career choice for college graduates. "I'd like to see the profession encourage schools to offer more courses and majors centered around internal auditing," he says "so we can attract talented candidates straight out of college and grow that talent organically." He says he hopes others will have a better awareness of the profession than he did after graduating and working in public accounting. "When I switched to internal audit, I didn't really have a good understanding of the difference between external and internal auditing." Now that he's gotten up to speed on the latter, Zicarelli keeps his external audit skills sharp by leading Sallie Mae Bank's direct assistance program for its external financial statement audit, notes Thomas Linton, the company's vice president, Internal Audit. The team performs audit-related tasks on behalf of the external auditors, reducing the fees and "further demonstrating the competency of the internal audit function." Zicarelli helps enhance that competency through his role with the department's on-campus internship recruiting program--and, Linton points out, he's been rewarded for his efforts by being tapped as the designated mentor for all internal audit interns. He adds that feedback from past and current interns highlights the role Zicarelli has played in ensuring a first-class internship experience. "My favorite part is their passion for learning," Zicarelli says. "They want to learn it all and can't wait to take on the next challenge. That's extremely rewarding."

KAREN TYLINSKI sees things differently--and she tries to help others do so, too. She started at her current company with a background in tax at a Big 4 international accounting firm, notes Kevin Alvero, senior vice president, Internal Audit, at Nielsen. Since coming on board, the University of South Florida graduate has shared audit techniques from the tax field "that have benefited us in the audience measurement industry," he says. Tylinski's efforts include researching new audit tools and helping automate previously manual audit procedures, and she's leading a large internal audit engagement that could have a multimilliondollar impact on the business. Alvero adds: "This is indicative of the level of comfort I have in her leadership skills." Tylinski says experience helps her build confidence, which makes the job even more rewarding. She says she has a better understanding and awareness of how her work fits into the big picture, for the department and the company, which makes it more fulfilling. She says she hopes to spread the word, showing future practitioners how exciting internal auditing is. "Internal auditing keeps me on my toes, especially since no two projects are the same," she says. "I would like to help people outside the profession understand how stimulating and rewarding it can be."









KARA GOSLIN wants to make internal audit better on the inside--and from the outside. Sarah Eberhardt, chief audit executive at Deckers Outdoor Corp., recalls Goslin's response to feedback about U.S. Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 testing tools that were slow and not user friendly. The University of California at Santa Barbara graduate helped choose and develop a new tool, and was very involved in streamlining the internal testing process. She also successfully presented a business case to Eberhardt and the company's chief financial officer for her current assignment to London, her home base for helping improve Sarbanes-Oxley testing in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa--and for networking globally within the company. She has also created training materials and conducted coaching sessions with local leadership. Moreover, Goslin wants to update internal auditors' demographics, noting it is "a field that becomes much more male dominated the higher in management you rise." She says the paradigm is shifting, but emphasizes that the profession still has a long way to go in terms of women's visibility and progression. Indeed, Goslin sees internal audit departments tapping practitioners with more varied backgrounds moving forward. "A lot of departments have rotational programs," she says. "That's important in broadening our understanding and identifying where we should be focusing." She adds that it could help change how outsiders see internal auditors. And while she's amused by people who picture "a tight-laced numbers person trying to dig up dirt," she stresses the importance of countering that false impression. Goslin looks forward to the day when nobody is surprised that a woman, musician, and craft beer aficionado is also an internal auditor.

BRIAN SALVADOR likes to get things done--and if they don't work correctly, he likes to fix them. He offered dozens of project performance improvement suggestions to his previous employers EY and Boeing, says Colette Pretorius, Salvador's former boss at Boeing and now group finance manager at Microsoft. The Portland State University graduate once led a control assessment at a major sports promotion company with personnel scattered across three continents and led testing of...

To continue reading