Why Audit? An Interview with Kevin Duthie, Partner at EY

Professional Services Consultant, Fraser Burnett recently caught up with Kevin Duthie, Partner at EY in the next instalment of our ‘Why Audit?’ interview series.


1. Why did you pick a career in audit?

I think it picked me! After studying Accountancy at university, I joined Ernst & Young (EY) to study for my CA. In my first few years, I got the chance to do some technology audit on my jobs, so when I had the chance to focus on that, I took the leap and I have had no regrets.

When others in my year group made decisions to move to industry, I was enjoying my career with EY and I continued to specialise in external and internal IT audit whilst working on a range of other types of engagements such as cyber, IT due diligence and controls advisory. This all helped me to progress with the firm and I am now a Partner in Technology Risk with an interesting and varied client base.


2. What have been some of your career highlights?

Staying with EY and progressing through the ranks has given me so many great opportunities. I have loved working on some of the largest, most complex audits and being ultimately responsible for the quality of the IT audit – still a buzz (and a relief!) when closing out on a big one.

I have also been lucky with the travel I have had, getting to visit so many interesting places across Europe and further afield. Alongside getting to see different places and experiencing different cultures, this has provided me with an invaluable learning experience and enabled me to build a global network along the way; so many new friends and lasting memories with my friendly, local Aberdeen office to return to!


3. Why should people consider a career in audit?

Audit can be a lifetime calling for some, or a career springboard for others. You gain exposure to so many different companies and organisations: private or public sector, large or small and across a range of industries. Throughout my career I have audited financial sector clients, energy companies, telecoms, water companies, whisky distillers, manufacturers, retailers and the list goes on.

Another huge benefit of working in audit are the soft skills you can develop which are essential for any successful career. Coaching, leading teams and client engagement are all factors of an audit. As you progress, you get increasing access to C-suite management which adds interest to the job and also provides insights into the businesses you work with.

You can gain knowledge from the talent working for the companies you audit, so you are always learning.

I view audit as societally important and as a career, it is relevant and sustainable.


4. The changing landscape of audit brings its challenges. However, what do you think are the key opportunities within audit?

The regulatory bar keeps lifting, so there is always a fresh challenge. In the technology space, the assurance of emerging technology like AI and the Cloud means there will always be different risks to consider and test when doing an audit. 

With so many fresh, new tools and technologies becoming available to use on our audits, this will reduce a lot of the administrative side of our work. I see this as a positive example of new tech helping auditors do what they do best and focus on the moments on the audit that count.


5. What one piece of advice would you give someone who is starting a career in audit?

Some people join audit and never leave. Others use it as a learning experience to help progress their career and move on to other things; and then there are those that come back at a later stage. Therefore, my advice is not to consider audit as simply a short-term experience, but as a positive part of a long-term career if you have the right intent and mindset.


If you have any questions about this ‘Why Audit?’ interview series, or you would like to get involved and share your thoughts on the Audit function, please contact [email protected].