Knowledge empowers youParticularly at this time of year, which we consider the ‘peak final audit season’, you’ll find yourself spending a considerable amount of time on site with clients (final audit season is also the peak period of client interaction for many of us across the office). Some of the recent training courses I’ve attended have been extremely useful in making sure that I am able to tackle the challenges that the ‘peak’ throws my way as an audit lead.

The recent ‘Leading an Audit Planning and Fieldwork’ training has been of great value in guiding me through this period. This course is the last in a series of training sessions run by the office which are designed to equip you with the┬ánecessary skills to undertake financial audit work. The precursory courses: ‘Introduction to Financial Audit’, ‘Introduction to Audit Fieldwork’ and ‘Advanced Audit Fieldwork’ culminate in the step up to taking the lead on an audit. As an added bonus, these courses are run on an intake basis, meaning you have a great chance to catch up with people from your intake and reminisce about days at college!

‘Leading an Audit Planning and Fieldwork’ is focused heavily on the need to carefully manage both other staff and internal and external relations. As an audit lead you’ll often feel like a go-to person, and the training provides you with an understanding of what kind of challenge you’ll be likely to face. As strange as it may seem, it is often not even a case of completing any actual fieldwork as an audit lead! On many days you’ll simply be acting as a mouthpiece for the audit team communicating messages and key findings back to your manager and director or alternatively back to your client contact. As a rather chatty person, I certainly enjoy this side of the role!

Something that drew me into the NAO’s graduate scheme was the opportunity to keep developing my skills and knowledge. After many years of challenging myself at school and then university the prospect of continuing this was an appetising one. Even though I have now completed all of the ACA examinations, the endless list of courses and training opportunities at the NAO mean that I will always be challenged to remain at the cutting edge!


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