Brooke Love is a Senior Internal Audit Manager at ODEON Cinemas Group
I went to university in the US and graduated with a Finance degree and had no awareness of Internal Audit as a profession. I joined a pharmaceutical / medical company finance rotational programme and at the end was offered a senior auditor role in the corporate office. I didn't know what to expect but liked the sound of the work: project based, exposure to various parts of the business, helping to make the business better.
It was a challenging shift into the role as I learned and honed the skills needed to be an effective auditor – in those early days I remember thinking ‘how do I add value to people who work in an area every day?’ – but I felt a sense of accomplishment at the end of each audit and could see myself growing professionally through the process.
I obtained my Certified Internal Auditor qualification, moved from the US to Ireland, and wanted to better understand accounting so sat the ACCA exams. While I was doing the exams, I went back into accounting in a technology company as the internal audit role I had in a practice firm at that time involved frequent travel, which was a good experience but didn’t leave time to study. I completed the exams, and while I still enjoyed accounting work, I found myself drawn to the controls side of things once more.
When it was time for my next role, this time in the UK, an internal controls / Sarbanes-Oxley role came up at Odeon and I knew it was the right thing for me. Shortly thereafter I moved into the Internal Audit team and have been there since that time.
The film exhibition business is both challenging and fun – our mission is to provide fantastic entertainment experiences for people – and it is rewarding to be part of that endeavor. There have been sector wide challenges with COVID restrictions, the rise of home streaming options, and cost of living pressures; the constant stream of change requires adaptation and focus from Internal Audit to ensure we continue to bring value to the business.
I enjoy the overall work as an Internal Auditor. There is always plenty of problem solving and critical thinking to be done, getting to implement project management skills, constantly learning new processes, working with different people at various levels and areas across the business, and finding opportunities for improvement and efficiency and identifying key risks to support the business achieve its objectives. Years on from my entry point into the sector, I have no doubt about the value Internal Audit brings to businesses.