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Stories from Credit, Audit, Risk and Compliance

Deirdre Nicholl

Audit Partner - Customer Wealth, Insurance and Investments

What does a day in Bank of Ireland look like?

No two days in Bank of Ireland are the same which creates a lot of variety. As Audit Partner I have responsibility for coaching and mentoring team members, developing and achieving the audit plan, working on regulatory engagements as they arise and working on strategic initiatives. Typically there are a number of assignments on the go at the same time. Most days will involve meeting with the business, touching base with the team to see how audits are progressing, understanding key risks and issues that arise and brainstorming potential solutions where issues have been identified. 

What's the best thing about your job?

In order to become an Accountant I spent many years studying and "learning on the job". It's great to be able to use the skills I have gained to help develop my team and to add real value to our department and organisation.  I work in a great department surrounded by great people, there is real team spirit and there’s lots of support to encourage people to do well and achieve their goals. I am also fortunate to have the opportunity to constantly get to know new people, build relationships and see all aspects of the organisation which I really enjoy. I also attend and present at a number of Committee meetings which gives me the opportunity to meet with senior people in the organisation to discuss the business, key risks and key highlights from our internal audit engagements.

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What challenges you in your job? 

As an Audit Partner, a key aspect of my role is planning, executing and reporting on audit engagements. In order to ensure our audit plans are relevant and add value to the organisation, it is essential that we understand the key strategic priorities, emerging risks facing the organisation, the regulatory landscape and the macro environment. There have been significant challenges over the past number of years from a regulatory and economic point of view. Given all this, stakeholders are expecting more from internal audit functions so we need to respond to those changing expectations and ensure that we are continuously focusing on high impact areas. We achieve this through on-going relationship management and continuously reviewing our audit plans and updating them where necessary. All of this brings significant challenges to internal audit functions and these are the challenges I really enjoy.

What gets you up in the morning?

I really enjoy my role. I am from an external audit background (having worked as a Director in the Big 4 prior to joining Bank of Ireland) and I was able to transfer my skills and experience into my current role. Internal audit offers the unique opportunity to see and understand all aspects of Bank of Ireland. I enjoy learning new things and have the opportunity to do that daily. I genuinely enjoy coming into work every day!


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