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Internal Audit Director

Date: Nov 19, 2021

Location: Chicago, IL, US

Company: James Hardie

Located in Chicago, James Hardie Industries plc, manufactures and sells fiber cement products for interior and exterior building construction applications primarily in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the Philippines, and Europe. Its products principally include fiber cement interior linings, exterior siding products, and related accessories products.  The company offers fiber cement products with various patterned profiles and surface finishes for a range of applications, including external siding and soffit lining, internal linings, facades, floor and tile underlay, lattice, fencing, decorative columns, flooring, and ceiling applications; and manufactures and sells fiber reinforced concrete pipes.  Its products are used in various markets, such as new residential construction, which include single and multi-family housing; manufactured housing that comprise mobile and pre-fabricated homes; repair and remodeling; and various commercial and industrial applications, such as stores, warehouses, offices, hotels, motels, schools, libraries, museums, dormitories, hospitals, detention facilities, religious buildings, and gymnasiums.
The company markets its fiber cement products and systems under various Hardie brand names and other brand names, such as Hardieplank, Artisan Lap and Artisan Accent Trim by James Hardie, Cemplank siding, Scyon, Secura flooring, and HardieBacker.  The company has historically invested between 2% and 3% of its annual revenue in research and development activities focused on process and product development.  The business sells its products directly, as well as through distributors, large home center retailers, small to medium size dealer outlets, and specialist distributors to dealers or lumber yards, consumers, builders, real estate developers, and distributor/hardware stores.
James Hardie Industries plc was founded in Australia in 1888, moving its headquarters to The Netherlands in 2001. In 2010, the company moved its headquarters again, this time to Ireland.  Today, the company has revenues totaling approximately $2.5 billion, with shares traded on the Irish and Australian markets, in addition to ADRs traded in the United States.

Position Summary

Reporting to the Vice President Internal Audit, the Internal Audit Director is responsible for providing strong leadership to the department and supporting the Vice President Internal Audit in the execution of the Internal Audit strategy.  This includes assisting in the design and implementation of audit processes, procedures and methodologies, management and training of staff, execution of risk assessments and development of the Internal Audit plan, and special projects.  Responsible for planning and performing financial and operational audits, fraud investigations and leading projects associated with Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) throughout the corporation. 

The Internal Audit function is responsible for assessing the reliability of financial reporting, compliance with laws and regulations, the efficiency and effectiveness of operations and safeguarding of Company assets. The function provides independent and objective assurance to management and the Audit Committee by evaluating the effectiveness of governance and risk management activities, ensuring that controls are in place and working effectively, performing fraud investigations and completing special projects assigned by management and the Audit Committee.  Internal Audit is responsible for identifying opportunities for operational and control improvements to mitigate risk, and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of processes across the Company’s global businesses.

The Internal Audit Department reports directly to the Audit Committee of the Board of Directors, and administratively to the CFO.

The Internal Audit organization is viewed as a training ground for high performing talent seeking a developmental assignment and exposure to the global operations of the Company.

Position Responsibilities


Plans, manages and executes financial and operational audits, SOX projects, fraud reviews and special projects: 40%


  • Manages and oversees the planning and execution of audit assignments throughout the Company.  Oversees and conducts risk assessments for each audit evaluating operational, IT and financial risks and performs analytical reviews of financial statements.  Defines audit scope and approach, and coordinates planning activities with management and the audit team.
  • Provides oversight of the annual risk assessment and development of the audit plan.
  • Manages the audit team.  Supervises audit procedures that evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of processes and controls, and accuracy of financial information.  Works with the team to identify control gaps, process inefficiencies and opportunities to enhance business processes and improve operational effectiveness.  Shares extensive knowledge and experience with the team to build knowledge within the group of business processes and systems.
  • Manages and reviews audit work papers to ensure completeness, adequate supporting documentation, appropriate conclusions, consistency of approach, and regularly debriefs the audit team.  Challenges team findings and leads discussions with business leadership and IT experts.
  • Conducts audit work in complex or sensitive areas requiring specialized skills.
  • Leads audit work in a wide range of businesses and functions.  Leads the review and testing of the control environment to ensure that it adequately and effectively ensures: the reliability of financial reporting; safeguarding of company assets; compliance with all applicable laws and regulations; and the efficiency and effectiveness of company operations.  Works with the team to make recommendations to enhance business processes and identifies opportunities to improve operational efficiencies.  Utilizes extensive business process, control and IT systems knowledge.
  • Partners with management to develop recommendations to enhance processes and controls, and resolve issues identified in audits.
  • Develops and maintains effective communication with key management and stakeholders throughout the audit process.  Works closely with the external auditors.
  • Prepares well written, comprehensive and timely audit reports for executive management, the Audit Committee and the Board of Directors.
  • Partners with control owners to effectively monitor management’s resolution of audit findings and implementation of recommendations, including, performing retesting procedures to validate effective remediation.
  • Leads SOX audits including:   planning and execution of audits; documenting key processes and controls over financial reporting; evaluating and testing key controls; reviewing work papers; managing team; reporting findings to management verbally and in writing; and providing guidance to management on remediation.
  • Assists in the completion of special projects assigned by management and the Audit Committee of the Board of Directors.
  • Builds and maintains strong cross-functional partnerships with Finance, IT and operating leadership and teams.


Supports the development and ongoing refinement of the Internal Audit strategy and departmental infrastructure: 30%


  • Assists the VP Internal Audit in the design, documentation and implementation of the Internal Audit department policies and procedures, including the development of an audit quality program.
  • Supports the VP Internal Audit in the execution of the Internal Audit strategy and on ad hoc projects and presentations.
  • Assists in the annual internal audit risk assessment and supports the Legal Department in the execution of the Enterprise Risk Management program
  • Develops a thorough understanding of James Hardie accounting and compliance policies, and applies this knowledge to each audit.


Provide leadership, training and professional development to create a high performing team: 30%


  • Assists the VP Internal Audit with recruiting and developing staff.
  • Manages the audit teams.  Provides “on the job” training, direction and coaching, and conducts performance evaluations.
  • Motivates and mentors staff.  Assists in their professional development through guidance on formal training and encouraging the completion of professional qualifications. 
  • Develops team goals, objectives and the plans to promote the achievement of the internal audit plan.
  • Promotes ethical awareness and conduct within James Hardie Industries in support of the Company’s Code of Business Conduct and Integrity Hotline program. 
  • Travels to James Hardie locations up to approximately 40% of time including various locations in the U.S., Ireland, Germany, Spain, the Netherlands, the Philippines, Australia and New Zealand.
  • Maintains knowledge of current trends and developments in accounting, internal audit, IT and the building industry by reading appropriate books, journals and other literature, and attending related conferences, seminars, etc.


Position Requirements

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

  • Comprehensive knowledge of internal auditing standards, COSO, risk assessment practices, US GAAP and US GAAS, information technology and Sarbanes-Oxley compliance activities.
  • Strong audit and accounting skills.
  • Knowledge of SAP, understanding of business process functionality, application controls and SAP security.
  • Extensive knowledge of implementing, maintaining and managing a SOX program.  
  • Basic understanding of IT general controls and IT audit.
  • Excellent analytical skills, a high degree of intellectual curiosity, good judgment and an ability to influence others, and function as a business partner.
  • A team player who contributes to an atmosphere in which people work together to produce outstanding results, and an ability to constructively reconcile differences in an open and positive manner.
  • Professional, results driven and assertive with personal commitment, drive, flexibility and enthusiasm.  Resourceful and hands-on, and willing to “roll up the sleeves”.
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills and the ability to present his/her views in a clear and compelling manner.
  • Strong interpersonal, management and teambuilding skills.  .
  • Ability to see the broad implications of events, business process and control issues, and also understand the details.  Ability to identify critical issues and develop workable recommendations.
  • A demonstrated track record of successfully leading teams.
  • Independent and proactive with a high level of integrity, credibility and character with demonstrated high moral and ethical behavior.

Education/Experience Required:

  • A Bachelor’s degree in Accounting, Finance, or a business-related field including Management Information Systems is required.
  • 15+ years of audit or accounting experience, with at least 10 years in an audit management role.  Big 4 audit firm or equivalent audit experience preferred.
  • Certified Public Accountant (CPA) or equivalent is required.  Certified Internal Auditor (CIA) a plus.
  • Extensive experience in the management and professional development of audit staff.
  • Experience in performing risk assessments and supporting an Enterprise Risk Management program
  • Knowledge of SAP and data analytical audit tools (e.g. ACL, Excel, Tableau, IDEA) a plus.
  • Experience within a manufacturing or distribution environment is preferred
  • International experience is highly desirable.
  • Experience in designing, implementing, executing and maintaining a SOX program
  • Broad experience in leading and executing operational, financial and IT audits
  • Experience with an Quality Assurance Review (QAR) a plus
  • Demonstrated proficiency in Microsoft Office; Excel, Outlook and PowerPoint
  • Ability to travel both domestically and internationally up to 40%



Nearest Major Market: Chicago

Job Segment: Internal Audit, Audit, Manager, Product Development, ERP, Finance, Management, Research, Technology