Auditors are expected to exhibit professional behaviour during the performance of audit activities. What does it mean to "act professionally?" Professionalism means treating people fairly and honestly, keeping promises, following through on commitments, respecting other people's rights and property, and doing what you say you're going to do. It also includes demonstrating respect for yourself and your profession.
While all professionals must demonstrate professionalism, some professions have more stringent expectations than others. Auditing is one such profession. Auditors must adhere to strict rules of ethics and professionalism. Let's look at the expected behaviour from an auditor.The below list of attributes is not exhaustive.
• Be ethical - Maintain high standards of integrity and honesty.
• Be diplomatic - Show respect for those with whom they work and for their opinions. Avoid insulting people or making them feel uncomfortable.
• Act fairly - Treat everyone involved in the audit impartially. Do not favour any party over another.
• Be honest - Tell the truth about what you see and hear. Don't try to hide anything or give false information.
• Be objective - Keep your personal feelings out of the way. Try to view things objectively rather than emotionally. Remember that you are there to do a job, not make friends.
• Be trustworthy - Make sure you keep your promises and commitments. You must be reliable.
• Be competent - Demonstrate that you know what you're doing and can perform effectively on behalf of your client.
• Be thorough - Take time to understand your client's business thoroughly.
• Be conscientious - Work hard. Put in extra effort if necessary.
• Be responsible - Accept full responsibility for the quality of your work.
• Be punctual - Meet deadlines. Arrive early and leave late.
• Be open-minded - Consider different points of view before reaching a decision.
• Be flexible - Adjust your approach according to circumstances.
• Be tolerant - Listen carefully to the views of others.
• Be courteous - Treat people politely. Use appropriate language and tone of voice.
• Be efficient - Get the most out of every day. Spend less time on tasks that don't add value.
• Be kind - Be considerate towards others.
• Be humble - Recognize your limitations.
• Be professional - Dress appropriately; maintain good grooming and hygiene.
• Be proactive - Identify problems and seek solutions.
Audits are performed to assess the effectiveness of internal controls within an organization. The primary purpose of an audit is to provide assurance that systems, processes and controls are being implemented effectively.
The above list contains many key characteristics that an auditor needs to exhibit to ensure that this goal is achieved. In addition, it will help to develop the skills required to conduct an effective audit.