Senior Auditor position description

Position:  Senior Auditor
Business unit:  Audit New Zealand
Reports to: General Manager, Operations
Group:  Operations
Date:  April 2022

Organisation in context

The Controller and Auditor-General (the Auditor-General) is a statutory officer of Parliament. The role is a constitutional safeguard to maintain the financial integrity of New Zealand’s parliamentary system of government. The Auditor-General provides independent assurance to Parliament, public entities, and the public that public entities are operating and accounting for their performance as Parliament intended.

The Auditor-General employs staff in two business units – the Office of the Auditor-General (OAG) and Audit New Zealand, with a shared Corporate Services Team (CST).

Audit New Zealand carries out annual audits allocated by the Auditor-General. It also provides other assurance services to public entities within the Auditor-General’s mandate and in keeping with the Auditor-General’s standards on the independence of auditors.

Audit New Zealand operates a professional services model that is consistent in many respects to private sector auditing and assurance firms.

Primary objectives

Senior Auditors complete audit work and on smaller clients may lead audit teams during the planning, execution and reporting phase of the audit.

General responsibilities and objectives

The main responsibilities of a Senior Auditor are to:

  • Complete audit work and lead audit teams as required, ensuring that all necessary work is completed on time and within budget, and in accordance with the expectations set out in the Quality Control Manual and relevant professional standards.
  • Share their knowledge and expertise with less experienced audit staff, including setting clear expectations; monitoring progress; and supervising and coaching them while on an audit, to ensure that they understand what is expected and their work is of an appropriate standard.
  • Liaise with clients (typically as the main liaison point) and colleagues to ensure that they have the information needed to complete their audit work, while ensuring that clients and colleagues are kept informed of progress and issues as they arise.

Staff management and relationships

Staff reporting to this position

There are no staff reporting to this position; however Senior Auditors do provide on the job supervision and coaching to audit team members.

Internal relationships

Colleagues within Audit New Zealand, including Audit Directors, Audit Managers, in-house specialists (including those in the Specialist Audit and Assurance Services team, Information Systems Audit and Assurance team, Professional Practices Group and Tax), and staff in their local office.

External relationships

Clients within their portfolio, including (where appropriate) second-tier managers (in financial and non-financial roles) and members of their teams.

Health and Safety responsibilities

For yourself:

  • Work safely and take responsibility for keeping yourself and colleagues free from harm.
  • Report all incidents and hazards promptly.
  • Know what to do in an emergency.
  • Co-operate in implementing return-to-work plans.
  • Be a visible role model at all times.
  • Follow the Office’s safety rules and procedures.

For team:

  • Inform, train, and equip staff to carry out their work safely.
  • Ensure that there is prompt and accurate reporting and investigation of all workplace incidents and injuries.
  • Assess all hazards promptly and ensure that they are managed.
  • Ensure safe and healthy workplace for all people using our sites as a place of work.
  • Meet all requirements in the Office’s Health and Safety policy and procedures.

Person specification

Qualifications and experience

  • Chartered Accountant (CA) with the Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CA ANZ);
  • at least three years' post-qualifying experience, ideally in external audit, in the public sector; and
  • experience supervising and coaching others.

People with overseas qualifications who are able to become a CA with CA ANZ within 12 months of being appointed will also be considered for these roles, as will people who are Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) qualified. Other overseas qualifications will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Key competencies

Audit New Zealand has a Leadership Framework which sets out the knowledge, skills, and competencies that Audit New Zealand’s operational auditing staff are expected to be able to demonstrate.

The Framework is structured around four groups of competencies, and each of these groups are broken down into three sets. Below is a high-level description of the competencies that Senior Auditors need to be able to demonstrate.

AUDIT is about “the technical knowledge, skills and experiences” needed to ensure that we issue the right audit and assurance opinions. They include knowledge of:

  • Quality control and independence matters i.e. the things we have to do to ensure that our work is of an appropriate standard.
  • Accounting matters i.e. the accounting and auditing standards that apply to the entities we audit.
  • Auditing matters i.e. the auditing and assurance standards, and the standard ways that we work, so that we can consistently deliver quality audits and assurance work efficiently.

ACCOMPLISH is about “getting things done” so that people can succeed within Audit New Zealand. This means that people need to:

  • Know our organisation i.e. understand the role and mandate of the Auditor-General, and the expectations they have of Audit New Zealand staff.
  • Manage yourself i.e. know how to use Office systems and tools efficiently and effectively. Our people also need to plan and organise themselves, and use their time well.
  • Develop yourself i.e. take opportunities to learn and grow, so that they can develop and progress within Audit New Zealand.

GUIDE is about “working effectively with other people internally to deliver results”, whether it be a quality audit, or an Audit New Zealand business improvement initiative. To do this, people need to:

  • Guide others i.e. work effectively with others on a one-to-one basis, providing coaching and support.
  • Guide team i.e. work effectively with others on a group basis, whether out on an audit or in the office.

CONNECT is about “understanding the entities and sectors we audit, and working effectively with other people to achieve results, including to improve the performance of the public sector”. To do this, people need to:

  • Communicate effectively i.e. have the skills needed to engage with and influence other people, internally and at the entities we audit.
  • Entity knowledge i.e. have a sound understanding of the entities we audit, their risks and issues, and the key people who work in those entities.
  • Sector knowledge i.e. have a sound understanding of the different sectors we audit within, how they operate, and common risks and issues that impact our work.