A new report from Protiviti reveals that auditors believe that they need to boost their soft skills. Capabilities that according to auditors require the most improvement are presentation skills, negotiation techniques and persuasion skills.
Every year the global consulting firm surveys auditors working at multinationals to assess their capabilities and provide insight in their key improvement areas. More than 600 auditors, ranging from audit executives to staff members, participated in the 2014 edition of the research, labeled ‘Internal Audit Capablities Survey 2014’. Respondents were asked to assess their skills and competencies, clustered in four key areas:
The results show that auditors are relatively comfortable with 8 of the 19 identified soft skills. In particular in the area of presentations to small groups, coaching and knowledge transfer skills auditors feel they are well equipped to do the job. Yet on the 11 remaining areas auditors feel that there is room for improvement, and in some cases better performance is even a must-have. In three areas auditors rate their competencies as very low (presentation and negotiation skills and relationships with C-level) and in addition a number of other aspects are considered as high ‘improvement areas’, including mastering new technology and dealing with confrontation. An overview of the results: