June 07, 2013 12:00AM
The major corporate accounting scandals at Enron and Worldcom in the early 2000s proved to be a shot in the arm to the field of internal auditing. The new federal regulations that followed placed a higher premium on internal watchdogs and problem-solvers.
At about that time, Kayla Carter was beginning her tenure as a student at Pittsburg State University. One of her early courses was an internal auditing class and she was almost immediately hooked.
“I very much enjoyed that course, and that’s when I really started to think about internal auditing as career,” said Carter, a St. Paul, Kan., native. “With everything going on in the corporate world at the time, the need for internal auditors was definitely on the rise.”
Now, just six years after graduating from PSU with a bachelor’s degree in business administration with majors in accounting, management and marketing, Carter is being recognized as one of the world’s top young auditors.
In the June 2013 issue of Internal Auditor Magazine, Carter, 28, is listed as one of the “Top 20 Under 30,” a list of professionals from around the world who the magazine describes as the “next generation” of internal auditors.
“Their fearlessness, professionalism, and passion for their work is driving the profession to new heights,” the magazine states.
Carter, a manager of IT consulting and internal audit at Protiviti in Overland Park, said she was surprised and honored to be among the prestigious group.
“I was definitely shocked to learn that I was selected,” Carter said. “It’s quite the honor to be among a list of peers from all around the world. It’s a surprise, but it’s certainly a pleasant one.”
While at PSU, Carter completed the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) Internal Auditing Education Partnership Program. She was also a member of the PSU Honors College and an officer in the PSU IIA Student Chapter.
In 2008, she earned a master’s degree in international business from the University of Wollongong in New South Wales, Australia, where she graduated in the top 2 percent of her class.
Carter said she has found her “dream job” at Protiviti, where she has worked since May 2007. She has accomplished a lot in her young career, including working on major projects in Australia, Canada and many places in between.
On one of her most recent -- and her personal favorite -- projects, Carter served as the leader of a regional security and controls team for an international SAP software deployment. Her team was responsible for the deployment of 7,500 users of the software.
Carter noted that conducting a third-party media buying contract review for an international retailer, which resulted in a cost recovery of more than $250,000, was another career highlight.
“It’s something new every day,” Carter said. “That’s why I love this job. I don’t just sit at the same desk every day. I may be in my office one day, but in a CIO’s or CFO’s office the next. I may be working down the street or traveling to another country. It’s exciting, it’s a wonderful experience and it’s a lot of fun.”
To read the full Internal Auditor Magazine article, visit http://www.theiia.org/intAuditor/feature-articles/2013/june/20-under-30/.