The auditor skills matrix

An auditor skills matrix identifies the applicable skill sets of all auditors employed by a business. This information is used to assign auditors to those audits requiring their specific skills.

The background, skills, and experience of auditors can vary substantially.  Some may have detailed knowledge of certain accounting software systems, while others may be particularly adept at physical inventory counts, and others have long experience in certain industries. This information is not always taken into account when auditors are assigned to audit engagements, resulting in the mis-use of valuable audit resources. It is also possible that audits may not be completed quite so thoroughly as would have been the case with a better staffing assignment.

To resolve this issue, the auditor staffing coordinator should create and make use of an auditor skills matrix. This matrix can be as simple as a set of auditor resumes that are updated after each audit is completed. A more usable system is to load auditor skills and experience into a database that can be searched with key words. Doing so makes it easier to populate an audit with personnel who have the most relevant skills and experience, without having to manually search through a large number of resumes.

It is necessary to continually update the skills database to reflect the latest auditor training and experience alterations, so a staff person should be assigned this task. Database updates should be triggered by the completion of an audit and by any type of training class. Updates should also be made whenever a new auditor is hired into the firm.