An excellent stepping stone to the CFO end goal…

Morgan McKinley Dublin held a very informative speaker event where we invited senior finance professionals from a number of impressive companies to talk about what accepting a job in internal audit could do for your career long term. 

Due to the fact that most senior CVs we receive usually have a stint in internal audit we asked ourselves, why? We felt it was important to advise trainees and NQ accountants on what accepting a role in internal audit, in the right organisation, could do for you in your career long term.

On the night we had:

  • Grant Hourrigan- KBC Bank Ireland - Director of Internal Audit 
  • Leán Hannigan- Ardagh Group - Group Head of Internal Control
  • Orla McCaffrey - Irish Life - Head of Information Systems Audit - Europe | Internal Audit – Systems
  • Catherina Leahy - Kerry Group - Global Head of Internal Audit
  • Trevor Horan - Kerry Group - EMEA Compliance Director 
  • JJ CahillCRH – Development Manager

Why work in internal audit?


Working in internal audit places you on a platform whereby you would have direct access to very senior stakeholders, management, and every department within the organisation. This visibility is second to none, and therefore should an internal opportunity arise that you wanted to be considered for, chances are you will be known within that department from your time in internal audit, placing you in a much more powerful position to be considered for the role, in comparison to maybe someone in group finance whose name is unknown to the other department.


A stark differentiator between internal and external audit that was noted is that in internal audit, you have time on your side. Therefore, if you find a discrepancy, you don't just report it, you get to be part of devising the solution. This leads to some project work and your professional insight is very important in these instances.


You are given the opportunity to build relationships with so many different areas within the company:

  • production,
  • supply chain
  • group finance
  • sales
  • marketing


You learn so much more about the company from a commercial perspective, therefore should commercial finance, management accounting, financial analysis be an area of interest to you, then you are giving yourself an excellent opportunity to progress down this route, by working for a time in internal audit.


You get to bring your personality into the job on a daily basis. Having a great personality is crucial for a successful internal auditor, as having the respect of your colleagues means getting your work done more efficiently, and effectively.

Not just one audit, but every audit

In comparison to external audit, you will be exposed to every audit engagement for the duration of your time in internal audit. This means that again, you can get experience in fixing any reporting issues etc. and that you also get to see how the company is performing year on year.

Product and commercial knowledge

You get to learn more about what the company offers, how it operates on a daily basis, changes that are happening, or upstream changes, way ahead of all other people in finance.


Working in internal audit places you on a platform whereby you can travel as much as you want as often as you like. Choosing a company with a global presence is key to this, and luckily in Ireland, we are surrounded by them.

Further to this event, we have a number of opportunities that can give you this brilliant exposure, so please let us know if you are interested in hearing more. You can send your CV to me via my email address below.

Gerald FitzGerald's picture
Chief Operations Officer Ireland


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