Compliance Career Q&As

Published: 03 Aug 2017 By CareersinCompliance

Audit Agony Aunt 240x160Carol McLachlan, theaccountantscoach, is a qualified accountant, NLP Practitioner and professionally qualified coach. Her 18 year career at Ernst and Young as a chartered accountant and a Director of Resources has equipped her with a real understanding of the professional and personal issues that accountants face. Here Carol answers your career questions as our very own Risk Careers Advisor.

If you have any careers, skills development or promotion questions, please send them to Carol, who will endeavour to answer them.

There may be the odd occasion that Carol cannot answer due high demand for her time, but you can post your question on the CareersinAudit Group Facebook Page or in our LinkedIn Group where you can discuss current issues with other Risk professionals and Risk jobseekers from across the world.

Your Compliance Career Questions Answered:


"I am an audit professional with 9 years of experience in internal auditing. Currently, I am working with a multinational bank in their Internal Audit department for the past six years. I have received an offer from another Multinational bank for the role of Operations and risk control - SOX Compliance.  While all the aspects of the offer are good, I am apprehensive about the prospects of the role:


1.  Is it a right move considering that my current role within Internal Audit has more expanded scope as it gives me exposure to all the operations of the organization compared to the prospective SOX role which will be restricted to SOX Compliance related activities?

2.  What is the future of Sarbanes-Oxley considering that there has been criticism and discussion around the success/failure of the law?

Thus, should I accept the offer of SOX role? What would you do? Looking forward to your advice. "

If I was you, I would go right back to the drawing board. You can't make this decision unless you are clear about what you want from your career, both now and in the future.  In some respects the future of Sarbanes-Oxley is a red herring, as it can only seriously impact your career if you paint yourself into a corner with specialist labelling.

So, you have two roles to consider.  Where did the SOX offer come from? Were you head-hunted? If so you need to understand what it is about your professional profile that the recruiter thought was a good fit.  And what do you think about their evaluation? Have they properly identified your strengths and anticipated your interests and aspirations? Or did you go out seeking the SOX role of your own accord? What was in your mind with regard to making a career move right now? What were you looking for in terms of role content and future prospects? The answers to these questions will help you focus on getting to the nub of what you really want and need.

You are already aware of the obvious difference between the two roles, the SOX position being more specialised than the broader base of general internal audit.  But the comparison doesn't stop there.  What else is on offer in the SOX role?  Is it essentially a promotion?  Does it bring more management and leadership responsibilities compared to your current role?  If it does then, despite its perceived specialist nature, it might bring you wider, more advanced transferable skills and development opportunities. 

Also consider your attitude to risk.  It may be perceived 'safer' to stay where you are, but how do you feel about safety and stability?  Can you see yourself doing the role you are doing in five years time?  If not, what would you like to be doing and how would the SOX position align with these future aspirations.  And look again closely at the details of the SOX role.  What is attractive about it: prospects, content, reward?  You could consider how your current employer might replicate these benefits, either in your present department or with a role transition.  You can do a fair bit of due diligence yourself but ultimately you will have to take some risk by having an open conversation with regard to your career aspirations.

There's quite a bit to think about in making your decision, so don't be pressurised into moving quickly.  Take your time, do your research and some personal reflection and ultimately go with your heart as well as your mind!



Have your career questions answered by emailing Carol here.

To look for a new Compliance job, visit CareersinCompliance, the leading job site for Compliance vacancies.


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