IRELAND 24 February 2018
My name is Avril Butler and I joined the Office as a Trainee Auditor in 2010.
What made you decide to apply for the role?
After completing my Bachelor of Commerce degree in University College Dublin, I entered the private sector and pursued an accountancy qualification with Chartered Accountants Ireland. After qualifying and after a number of years of working in financial audit in private practice, I wished to broaden my knowledge of auditing by gaining perspective on public sector auditing practices. A combination of both private and public sector auditing experience would provide me a comprehensive set of audit skills, which would aid me in my career development.
What type of work can a trainee expected to be involved in?
There are three directorates within the Office – Semi-State financial audit, Votes audit and Reporting. When I joined the Office, I was assigned to the Reporting Directorate. The focus of the Reporting Directorate is on producing a range of outputs, which include value-for-money reports and special reports for publication. Data analysis is a key component of my work and affords me a very interesting role as the topics reviewed are extremely diverse and offer a great insight into policies and practices across a range of departments. Working in the Reporting Directorate has given me a broader perspective on different aspects of audit work as my role involves examining the objectives and operations of government schemes and programmes whilst looking for opportunities for improving performance in those operations.
An example of one of the reports that I was assigned to and which was subsequently published in the Report of the Comptroller and Auditor General 2011, involved a review of the collection of motor taxation. During the audit, I met with the various parties involved in the motor taxation process, I reviewed legislation around motor taxation in Ireland and I analysed data in relation to fixed charge notices and the deterrent effect of such notices on non-payment of motor taxation. My audit work contributed to the conclusions published in the final report.
What do you enjoy most about your role? I work as part of a small team on a variety of projects during the year so I gain insights into several departments and the processes they have in place. My role is very people-orientated and involves a lot of interaction with people both within the Office and with audit clients.
While I am mainly based in Dublin city centre, meetings with department officials and on-site audit work means that I have the opportunity to travel on occasion, so I really have the best of both worlds!
I was promoted to Auditor in March 2013.