Calvin Swah

Executive, Group Internal Audit Department

Calvin graduated with a Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Accounting and Finance before working at AmBank Group

Career choice 

I chose to be an Internal Auditor for my career path after much consideration. First and foremost, it all started from my passion to become an investigator or police officer. An Internal Auditor is similar because it is the final line of defense in an organisation to ensure that it complies with regulatory requirements and is free from the possibility of fraud and corruption. Internal audit in the financial industry encompasses a variety of learning opportunities. Due to the rotational basis, junior staff have the opportunity to gain diversified audit experience and knowledge in different areas such as commercial banking, Islamic banking, investment banking and others. This gives us a bigger picture and a clearer understanding of the financial industry. 

Into the company 

Once I completed my Bachelor in Accounting and Finance, I searched for accounting-related jobs in auditing firms. However, I did not receive any replies from these firms. When I attended a career fair in Mid Valley, I found out about the FSTEP Programme. It is a full-time, three-month intensive training programme for fresh graduates who are keen to join the financial industry, which is in collaboration with well-known financial institutions such as Malaysia Central Bank, AmBank Group, Maybank, Public Bank, UOB Bank and others. After several rounds of interviews, I was chosen to be a FSTEP trainee sponsored by AmBank Group. 

Daily hustle

I started to understand the roles and goals of an Internal Auditor when I first came across the audit of Group Human Resources in AmBank Group. The first task of audit is to understand the key activities and working procedures of Group Human Resources. The auditors must identify whether there are any risks and appropriate control in the activities and procedures that align with our audit plan. Then, there is the selection of samples to review and evaluate whether the controls are effective in terms of completeness, accuracy and timeliness. The audit findings are documented into the working paper. Any audit issues raised in the vouching process need to be discussed amongst the managers and auditee.

Skill set 

There are several soft skills which are imperative to be acquired as an Internal Auditor:

• Communication skills – an audit process involves a lot of communication with team members in regards to delegation of tasks and discussion of audit issues and findings.

• Critical thinking – an Internal Auditor needs to think broadly in identifying any deficiency in the process and any areas for improvement after performing the attribute test and reperforming test.

• Time management – an Internal Auditor always needs to meet the challenging deadline. It is critical to organise and execute tasks based on priority in order to accomplish tasks effectively and completely, within the timeframe.

Then and now 

I adjusted my lifestyle from being a student to a working adult in terms of changing my mindset. First of all, I try to be more proactive in my work. I am willing to accept any tasks given by my superior with a mindset of taking it as a golden opportunity to improve myself. I am willing to help my teammates after completing my tasks and I am not afraid to ask work-related questions. Every problem is an opportunity for me to grow. 

Culture: ★★★★ 80%

Work-life balance: ★★★★ 80%

Travel opportunities: ★★★★ 80%

Professional development: ★★★★ 80%

Personal growth: ★★★★ 80%