Our internal audit client at the moment wants to track our progress in completing the different phases of the project. We try to present the information they need in manner that is not only easy to read and understand, but also in a manner that adds value to client, rather than just presenting numbers. We use data analysis and visualizations to help the client better understand their control environment and the work we have done within it.
As part of daily work in internal audit testing, we must validate the completeness and accuracy of the information that we are testing. Often times this information is generated from databases and information systems through running various queries to generate reports with key information. My prior systems managements, database, and coding knowledge allows me to intelligently review program parameters, code, and database queries to validate that we have a complete report without exclusionary parameters or that no malicious code has been added.
In the same scenario without someone with a STEM background, we would often have to conduct separate meetings with the Systems Administrator to go through each query for every report or piece of code. This can often be burdensome to the client. An informed IT background allows us to better communicate with the client because there is someone who understands the terminology and concepts that are being used. Additionally, with an IT background, we can go through most of the queries or code ourselves and ask informed questions to save time and money for both the client and PwC.
While being this super technical programmer or database administrator isn't for everyone, even a technological baseline understanding can be very beneficial. I'm definitely more of a people person but loved the techie side of things, which is why I pursued technology.
Definitely focus on developing your analytical and data management skills. The skills I learned from being able to work through a problem to develop a potential solution are still useful in helping me decipher client documentation and conduct testing. Additionally, because this is now more than ever the information age, companies generate so much information that I often use my data management courses to determine more easily what information is most pertinent to the task at hand.
Take a leap of faith, and venture into a technical course as an elective or minor or even major in information technology or information systems. Focus on courses that teach hard skills while at the same time continuing to develop your problem solving abilities; courses like database management, programming, or statistical analysis are just a few examples.
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