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What is an IT auditor?
IT contributes significantly to the economic success of a company – and even more: IT people have even become »secret rulers« over time. Accordingly, IT auditors are a bit like the »police« for the activities of the IT department. If things don’t go smoothly there, the company can run into major problems or even be completely paralyzed – in the age of digitization more than ever before.
In contrast to the past, the modern IT auditor is not just a »monitor«. Rather, he is a business partner of the units operating in the company. Through his examination and advice, he makes an active contribution to the optimization of business processes and thus to the added value of a company.
High level of responsibility for risks and forecasts
Even if auditors do not lend a hand themselves as IT specialists, they ensure effective IT risk management through their risk analyzes of IT business processes, IT applications and the IT infrastructure. You accompany the introduction of IT systems and carry out profitability assessments of IT investments (IT controlling). Overall, they help ensure that IT provides the greatest possible added value for the company.
In their job, IT auditors often act as “interpreters” between the departments, IT and management, and their responsibility is correspondingly high. In addition, IT auditors come into contact with different systems and areas and have to deal with new things again and again. They weigh up risks, make forecasts and give recommendations for action.
Where IT auditors are active
There are no IT auditors in small companies, even in medium-sized companies they are rather rare. The reason for this is simple: the larger a company, the more complex the IT systems and processes are, and someone is only required to monitor IT above a certain level of complexity.
Another factor that often necessitates an IT auditor is internationality. After all, international companies — including medium-sized companies and hidden champions — often have to meet special regulatory obligations. A stock exchange listing also entails specific requirements for the IT landscape, which is why almost all listed companies afford an IT audit.
changes in the job profile
Three drivers are currently affecting the IT auditor’s area of responsibility:
Regulations (e.g. the Data Protection Ordinance or the Telecommunications Act) repeatedly require adjustments to the IT systems. As a rule, other specialists specify the new requirements. The IT auditor checks whether these are adhered to and whether the IT landscape is still secure after the adjustment.
Logically, all developments in the field of digitization, such as cloud computing and instant payments, also affect the IT auditor. Because he has to deal with questions such as “Where is the data?”, “Who is responsible?” and “How do we ensure security?”.
When a company transfers areas of responsibility to external service providers, the question arises: “How do we, as the outsourcing company, ensure that the service provider does everything right?” The task of the IT auditor is therefore to check the outsourcing company and monitor whether she complies with the contract. This is also a very responsible task, because liability in the event of damage always remains with the outsourcing company.
The most important things in 5 seconds
- Education: Successfully completed (technical) university degree in business or specialist informatics or comparable IT qualification or graduate mathematician
- Starting salary: €60,000
- Top salary: €100,000
- Opportunities for advancement: Head of IT, IT Security Officer
What do you expect from an IT auditor?
- Conducting audits in the area of IT controls and IT security
- independent analysis and evaluation of IT-supported business processes with regard to security, regularity and efficiency
- Advising group companies on the optimization of IT processes
- Creation of audit reports and communication of the results to the executives of the group
- Formulation of recommendations for action or optimization suggestions to the management
- Development of improved testing methods
- Participation in the annual audit planning with regard to IT-related audits
How do you become an IT auditor?
You don’t usually become an IT auditor right after you graduate. Rather, most graduates enter either other IT areas or in the classic auditing area and then develop further in the direction of IT auditing.
In order to be able to meet the requirements in the area of IT auditing, it is advantageous to have gained experience in different companies and with different systems. Technical training such as CIA or CISA also increases the chances of applying and is even required by more and more companies.
Specifically, companies expect the following knowledge from applicants for the position of IT auditor:
- Successfully completed (technical) university degree in business or IT or comparable IT qualification or graduate mathematician
- Knowledge of regulatory requirements (ITSiG, relevant EU law, HGB, KWG, MaRisk, BAIT)
- Knowledge of common (auditing) standards and frameworks in the IT and auditing environment (e.g. IDW PS, BSI, COBIT, ITIL, BCBS 239)
- good knowledge of ISO 2700x standards
- Good knowledge of project and process management
- possibly knowledge of SAP, IDEA or ACL
- possibly CISA or CIA training
- very good knowledge of German and English
What does an IT auditor earn?
IT auditors earn a gross annual salary of between € 60,000 and €100,000. The exact salary depends largely on professional experience, technical know-how, the area of responsibility and hierarchical classification. As with many jobs, the job profile of an IT auditor is not uniform everywhere, but varies from company to company.
Anyone who works or would like to work as an IT auditor can improve their own chances — both as an applicant and with a view to the salary — primarily through special training. Further training courses such as the CIA (Certified Internal Auditor) or the CISA (Certified Information Systems Auditor) increase the market value and are welcome by companies.
What skills does an IT auditor need?
IT auditors are subject matter experts who like to look for the »fly in the soup«. You love technology and processes, often know systems down to the smallest detail and can explain complex technical issues and problems to non-IT people in an understandable way. At the same time they are communicative and interested. Because they not only have to deal with new communication channels or systems, but also make their results and recommendations for action comprehensible to the executive board or higher management.
If you want to work as an IT auditor, you should have the following soft skills:
- high technical understanding
- analytical competence and ability to penetrate complex processes and issues
- exact working style
- a solution-oriented and systematic way of working
- Curiosity and willingness to learn
- Ability to deal with conflict and criticism as well as sensitivity
- Teamwork and communication skills
- Willingness to take occasional to frequent business trips
Opportunities for advancement as an IT auditor
In contrast to other employees from the classic auditing area, IT auditors rarely rise to operational management positions in the auditing area, but remain experts in their area. In very large companies where several IT auditors are employed, a team management function is possible. Depending on the corporate structure and technical know-how, it is also conceivable that an IT auditor will take on a management function in the IT area – for example as head of IT or IT security officer.
The IT sector is becoming increasingly important in companies and it can be assumed that this trend will continue. Therefore, companies are currently and will continue to be on the lookout for qualified specialists in the field of IT. Accordingly, good IT auditors currently have no difficulties on the job market and in all likelihood will not have them in the future either.
Baton Rouge – Human Resources
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Iberville Parish – Employment
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Lafayette – Employment
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Shreveport – Employment
City of Shreveport Personnel Department furnishes its job opportunities. Application form can be downloaded.