Students seeking a thorough education in accounting need to understand all of its core functions. While the accounting world has some clear definitions, it’s also a professional realm with a wide variety of tasks and job duties. Learners who pursue an accounting degree online with the University of Alabama at Birmingham gain an introduction to and in-depth learning experiences focused on a variety of key accounting principles and processes, including internal auditing. With a strong understanding of these foundational elements of accounting, graduates are prepared to take the next step forward. Let’s review the function and goals of internal auditing, as well as how the Internal Auditing course offered by UAB prepares students for filling such a role after graduation.
What is internal auditing?
Internal auditing is an effective tool for businesses to gain insight into their own workflows. With this information, companies can make better decisions about increasing oversight in certain areas, altering processes to be more efficient or create less risk while protecting physical and financial assets. An internal audit reviews the current state of an organization and identifies areas where problems may occur or have already developed, as well as finding other sections of the enterprise where everything functions as intended. The end result, assuming business leaders such as the board of directors follow through on recommendations backed by evidence found during the audit, is a more resilient and secure operation.
Financial information is a major consideration during the internal auditing process, but it’s not the only factor that is reviewed or investigated. A variety of management processes, informational flows, risk management strategies, and compliance procedures are also reviewed, with the goal of improving security and reducing inefficiency. Finance often plays a role in these considerations, but there’s no specific limiting of the internal auditor’s role. For that reason, internal auditors have to cultivate and maintain a strong understanding of current business processes and related best practices alongside their accounting knowledge.
As technology becomes more inseparable from modern business activities, a familiarity with such tools and aptitude for capably learning about and using a variety of digital platforms is also important. Internal auditors need to develop a certain level of technological proficiency to ensure they can complete their work as intended, and follow established audit procedure.
The internal auditing education students gain at UAB
Students develop a knowledge base related to internal auditing during their undergraduate studies at UAB in a variety of ways. Learners in the Bachelor of Science in Accounting program can gain knowledge and skills relevant to this role throughout the curriculum as well as in specific courses. The most important class for students who want to develop these skills is Internal Auditing.
The Internal Auditing course
Part of the Accounting Core segment of the degree path, Internal Auditing delves into both the theory and practice of internal auditing. This valuable mixture of topics helps students understand both the intent of internal auditing efforts and the mindset, skills, and knowledge needed to successfully complete a specific project. Because every company is different and goals and areas of focus for such audits can change significantly from one instance to the next, understanding how context influences the role of a specific internal audit process is especially important. The course helps students grasp specific principles and techniques, then apply them to audit problems offered by the instructor. While internal auditors rely on a mix of education and on-the-job experience in their professional roles, this course offers a strong, focused starting point for ongoing development.
Lower and Upper Level Core courses
Accounting knowledge is vital for success in an internal auditor role. However, it’s not the only area where students have to develop a level of comfort and comprehension if they want to pursue related positions in the future. Because internal auditing looks at workflows, risk management strategies, and many other business needs alongside financial matters, professionals also need a strong grasp of these aspects of business operations. The classes of the Lower and Upper Level Core segments of the Bachelor of Science in Accounting degree curriculum provide a valuable introduction to many facets of company operations. They range from introductions to legal matters like contracts, property, and employment to reviews of efficient management processes and the fundamentals of professional communication. These courses help students receive a well-rounded education and provide a valuable sense of familiarity that can come into play in many different contexts when conducting an internal audit.
The Upper Level Core also includes a course dedicated to information systems. While the tools used by internal auditors represent just one of the many proficiencies they must cultivate to do their jobs successfully, it’s an increasingly important one in today’s world of business. A foundational comprehension of how such tools are used in a variety of professional settings is especially valuable for students who will start their careers in accounting and internal auditing after graduation.
Moving forward with UAB
UAB gives students an effective mix of high-quality learning experiences and the freedom to progress in a degree program at one’s own pace. With a fully asynchronous learning experience that fits into established personal and professional schedules, learners can add a college education to their existing routine without major, ongoing disruptions. To learn more about earning an accounting degree online through UAB, talk to an advisor today.