- Global Head of Internal Audit
- At Business Area Internal Audit
- Works in Amsterdam
- At AkzoNobel since 2016
"I want to make an impact in helping the organization I work for. I’m always trying to think smarter – how can I help? What people do we need? My advice to others is always to find out how you can add value, and make sure you’re recognized for it."
As Global Head of Internal Audit for AkzoNobel, Marie-Pauline Lauret and her team have a unique insight into every aspect of our company.
“It’s a very interesting challenge,” she explains. “We provide an independent opinion to the Executive Committee and the Audit Committee, as to whether as an organization we are in control – are we covering the risks we run as a company? This means looking at every end-to-end process across our businesses and functions in every possible location world-wide to make sure we adhere to our control framework.”
Marie-Pauline was recruited to AkzoNobel in 2016 to bring a game-changing approach to our Internal Audit team. She’s had a fast-paced career including experience at a big four firm and running a project for the Dutch government to rebuild trust in the audit profession. Her efforts were rewarded with official recognition from the Dutch Institute of Chartered Accountants.
Bringing positive change really motivates her. “I want to make an impact in helping the organization I work for. I’m always trying to think smarter – how can I help? What people do we need? My advice to others is always to find out how you can add value, and make sure you’re recognized for it.”
Helping us achieve excellence
She believes Internal Audit has a huge role to play in helping us achieve our company goals, especially as having precise processes is one of the cornerstones of our strategy.
“We organize ourselves end-to-end, with a common and efficient way of working,” says Marie-Pauline. “We use the work we do and the insights we have to work as a business partner and help our organization resolve any problems with processes and move to the next level.”
Marie-Pauline is delighted with what she’s achieved so far at AkzoNobel: “We’ve moved from being an isolated team, to holding a central position in our organization with people actively reaching out to us. I think that’s a really nice place to be.”
Enriching and adding value
She’s also driven initiatives to bring new talent into the Internal Audit team. That includes the guest auditor program which has been running for the last 12 months.
“We give people from across our businesses and functions the chance to join an audit on a subject that they may already be familiar with. For example, an HR colleague joining us on an audit in our People Services team,” says Marie-Pauline. “The guest auditor experience usually lasts the duration of one audit – around two weeks. Their functional or business knowledge really adds value to my team, and it offers them insight into what we do.”
The next step in this initiative is launching a rotational program to grow talented people in the audit function for a period of two years. This will give them the opportunity to experience and learn much more about AkzoNobel in a very short time frame.
“It’s about attracting more people from our businesses and functions to the Internal Audit team, so they can learn a lot about risk and control and how we look at processes. They can then return to their business or function enriched with that new knowledge and experience.”