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Anwen Rees at Worcestershire Internal Audit Shared Service

During my placement I worked for Worcester City Council as an Assistant Internal Auditor. I worked for WIASS which is Worcestershire Internal Audit Shared Service, WIASS work for Redditch Borough Council, Bromsgrove District Council, Malvern Hills District Council, Wychavon District Council and Worcester City Council, providing internal audit services. Worcester City is the host authority however I undertook audits in all of the different Councils. The services the Council provides are services such as, waste collection, homelessness, planning applications, street cleaning and leisure facilities. As Internal Audit we have to audit those areas to make sure that the services are operating efficiently, complying with the set standards and look for areas of improvement that will benefit the public.

My undergraduate degree is in Accountancy therefore a placement in internal audit was very suitable as it is a pathway in accountancy. I chose to take a placement year as I wanted to develop my professional skills, to gain an understanding of what it is like to work in an office environment and to help determine that is it accountancy I wanted to go in to.

My responsibilities developed throughout the year. At the beginning of the year I was assisting auditors on their own audits, learning how to audit and how to use the methodology used by WIASS. My first own audit was given to me in September, three months after being on placement. After this I was given other audits that I undertook by myself, the further on in the year the less support I got. Part of my job was to work on non-audit project that needed to be completed for the Service however due to lack of resources they had not been completed, these included creating a logo for the service, gathering information to put on the website and creating health and safety booklets.

My skills developed throughout the placement in line with the responsibility I was given. My audit skills increased massively during my placement year. Comparing my first audit to my last audit I can see the audit skills I developed. These would include the way I spoke to the managers of the Service I was auditing, how I retrieved the information from them and the methods I used to analyse that information.

The skill I developed most was my communication skills and this varied from improving the way I presented reports, the way I spoke, my use of emails versus the use of phones. At the start of the placement year I was nervous and didnít like speaking to colleagues however towards the second half of the placement this element of the job is what I enjoyed the most. The other skills I developed were using Microsoft office, working solo and working in a team. I was in a team of 9 people and although we had our own audits to do they were often related to each other therefore we had to work as a team to ensure we didnít duplicate anyway work and we could help each to save time.†

I achieved being offered a job after my placement year had finished, I went from Assistant Auditor to an Auditor. This promotion showed me that I achieved a lot in my placement year and I was an asset to the team rather than a liability.