The audit profession is experiencing a paradigm shift, according to a man who should know.
Carlos Sabater (BACC ’81), national audit leader of Deloitte & Touche LLP and member of U.S. Board of Directors of Deloitte LLP, returned to his alma mater to be the first Executive in Residence for the School of Accounting in the College of Business at Florida International University (FIU), spending a day on campus in September.
In addition to visiting an undergraduate class, Sabater also spoke as part of the Herbert A. Wertheim Lecture Series, a program that has brought distinguished speakers and experts in business leadership and entrepreneurship to FIU since 1993. He was introduced by Executive Dean Joyce J. Elam.
“In the wake of the worst economic recession and a rapidly changing regulatory environment, our work is subject to more scrutiny than at any time in the past,” Sabater told the group of 120 assembled for the presentation. “This means that certain skills are in high demand.
“First and foremost, successful audit professionals must have the ability to exercise professional judgment and skepticism, and to be able to think logically as they are researching authoritative literature and objectively weighing information,” he said.
Sabater reminded the group that while solid communications and business analytical skills are important, an audit is never a solo effort.
“In campus hiring, firms look for those with the ability to work as a team member and support colleagues,” he said.
Alumnus provides—and receives–motivation.
“I wondered if it would ever be possible for me to be as successful as this FIU alumnus,” said graduate accounting student Joey Insua, who will work for Deloitte following his December 2011 graduation. “What Carlos Sabater told us is that with today’s opportunities, we can be even more successful than him. That was a powerful message.”
Sabater said he himself received motivation by being the Executive in Residence.
“I love being on campus, and I always find myself energized by the passion and enthusiasm of FIU accounting students,” he said. “Having the opportunity to interact one-on-one with bright, outgoing students makes me optimistic about the future of the profession.”