Job Posting Details

Chief Audit Officer, Connect First Credit Union

Location:Calgary, Alberta
Posting Date:September 24, 2020
Closing Date:until filled
Web Site:
Employment Type:Full-time


Connect First (CFCU) is one of the largest Credit Unions in Canada with over $6 billion in assets under administration, over 750 employees, 40 locations with 128,000 members. With 4 trusted local brands - Chinook Financial, First Calgary Financial, Mountain View Financial and Legacy Financial - Connect First offers its members a full range of financial products and services and a community-focused approach to banking. Connect First’s mission is to Make Money Make a Difference with a vision to do what’s right for every member. In short, their values are to Think Big, Act Local, Take Charge and Make it Easy.

CFCU members are owners who have a say in how they operate, who earn dividends on common shares and investment shares, and have access to an extensive array of financial products and services. CFCU is committed to providing outstanding experiences to their members, their communities, and their employees, and they are proud to be regarded as one of the best amongst their peers.

Connect First is a strong competitor in the financial services sector. Over the past several years they have: continued to grow their assets, footprint and member base through strategic amalgamations; created efficiencies through consolidating back-end functions to one Head Office location; continued to customize the member experience; invested strategically in both their digital and in-person channels; built meaningful complementary relationships and expanded non-retail lines of business. 2019 was a successful year and the credit union achieved solid financial performance and asset growth for its members.

As a locally owned financial cooperative, CFCU has the unique opportunity to make a genuine and lasting contribution to the financial success of their employees, their members and the local communities. They contribute through both CFCU Branch-led initiatives like community investment & local events, as well as at the Corporate level through scholarships, key partnerships and shared region programs and projects.


THE OPPORTUNITY: Chief Audit Officer (CAO)

The Chief Audit Officer is responsible for identifying areas of risk and for effectively assessing, and evaluating the adequacy and appropriateness of internal controls. At CFCU, the role of the CAO has evolved into that of a proactive advisor on a wide range of enterprise risks. The CAO is empowered to take a more forward-looking approach i.e. to help identify and assess risks, help the business anticipate and avoid obstacles before an adverse event occurs; mitigate a variety of risks; improve business financial and operational processes; and participate in significant initiatives and strategies. 

This role reports to the Board of Directors through the Audit and Finance Committee, and this committee will provide oversight and input into the overall direction of all audit/assurance efforts.  On a day-to-day basis, the CAO reports on a dotted line to the CEO and works collaboratively with members of the Executive Leadership team to promote effective and timely resolution of internally and externally identified control deficiencies. This position is also responsible for leading the investigations into internal and/or external fraud activities.


  • Develops, implements, and maintains comprehensive audit standards and procedures to independently and objectively evaluate the appropriateness and effectiveness of internal financial/operational records and control processes. 
  • Develops and implements policies for auditing activities, both technical and administrative functions, and ensures internal audit work is always performed in accordance with the standards set forth by the Institute of Internal Auditors. These policies will support and reinforce any new or emerging risk issues that may result through ongoing operational, systems, or infrastructure changes. 
  • Develops and delivers audit programs that review processes, policies, operations, methods and procedures designed to reduce risk, liability and cost while increasing the effectiveness, efficiency and compliance of business units. 
  • Reviews IT systems and processes to identify, assess, and mitigate risks within the IT environment and ensure appropriate risk management practices are in place. 
  • Monitors external audit review processes, maintains awareness of compliance issues, and in conjunction with the board and executive leadership, responds to inquiries related to compliance issues or audits. 
  • Delivers presentations on compliance and operational issues of relevance to the Board of Directors. 
  • Develops a flexible audit plan, based on risk assessment, which includes audit objectives and work schedule for ratification by the Board of Directors through the Audit and Finance Committee. 
  • Reports results of audit activity in a timely and effective manner, including an opinion based on a professional evaluation and conclusion of the audit evidence included in the working paper file. 
  • Continually acquires and enhances knowledge of the organization’s and the division’s business strategies, policies, product offerings, services, front and back processes, and regulatory requirements to evaluate, assess, and document business effectiveness and risks. 
  • Acts as a consultant to both Management and staff to define, analyze, and implement enhancements to systems, processes, and internal controls, considering both operational effectiveness and risk. 
  • Leads internal and external investigations into fraud activities and actively pursues opportunities for recovery and restitution. Ensures all investigations are conducted in a professional manner; works collaboratively with the Risk Management Leader to support the development of an effective fraud management strategy for the credit union. 
  • Represents the credit union, as required, at any criminal and/or civil proceedings to testify on behalf of the credit union. 
  • Raises any concerns regarding the level of organizational awareness of the importance of fraud prevention, the effectiveness of fraud prevention policies, programs and education to the Risk Management Leader. 
  • Provides objective evaluation of business process and makes recommendations for continuous process improvement. Works collaboratively with the business transformation team.


  • A Bachelor’s Degree or college diploma in accounting, business administration, or a related field
  •  A CIA, CISA or other relevant designation and ongoing professional development in the areas of business and leadership considered an asset.
  • 10-15 years’ prior experience working in an audit function at a senior level preferably in a Financial Services or Insurance organization
  • Demonstrated ability in bringing a systematic, disciplined approach to evaluating and improving the effectiveness of internal controls and audit governance processes
  • Demonstrated expertise in leading internal audit processes, control evaluations and testing methodologies, and other financial and operational control methodologies
  • Demonstrated ability to apply comprehensive knowledge of auditing practices, procedures and principles to interpret and analyze complex concepts and apply these with a solutions-focused approach
  • Knowledge of evolving regulation, reporting standards, and various audit standards (including CPA Canada and IIA standards)
  • Extensive understanding of financial and operational risk as well as IT systems and risks


Builds Trusting relationships

  • Engages stakeholder relationships and strengthens business networks across the broader financial community.
  • Seeks to deepen relationships founded on respect, diplomacy and genuine sincerity.
  • Maintains and role models personal credibility; instills confidence and trust in others.
  • Demonstrates commitment to organizational and stakeholder requirements above individual goals and preferences.
  • Is transparent and consistent in all words and actions.
  • Influences to gain commitment across organizational boundaries.
  • Enables cross-functional collaboration; removes potential barriers and ‘silos’.
  • Openly addresses issues and differences in a direct and transparent manner.

Applies Strategic Agility

  • Anticipates the potential business impact of emerging industry and market trends in all areas of the business.
  • Proactively anticipates and works to mitigate potential risks and threats to the business.
  • Refines strategies, priorities and business plans in response to emerging issues.
  • Understands and interprets the ‘big picture’ and places opportunities, issues and initiatives in the context of the external environment.
  • Sets and articulates the strategic priorities and expectations of the organization in a clear and compelling manner.
  • Confidently presents well-informed opinions, suggestions and ideas. 
  • Conceives logical conclusions from limited information. 
  • Thinks critically about issues, distinguishing between relevant and irrelevant information when making decisions.

Inspires People & Teams

  • Creates support behind the vision of the organization, actively contributing to establishing the spirit and essence of the organization.
  • Role models and champions organizational values.
  • Consistently recognized for building and leading high performing teams.
  • Fosters a culture of rigorous people development.
  • Takes an active role as a coach, mentor and developer of talent. 
  • Builds leadership through empowering others and delegating appropriate levels of authority and decision-making responsibility.
  • Actively listens and probes to understand nuances in communication and messages.
  • Delivers timely and actionable feedback.
  • Solicits and respects feedback from others. 
  • Recognizes and celebrates team and individual successes.

Enables Innovative Change

  • Advocates for necessary change.
  • Mobilizes resources and confidently guides others through change, ambiguity and uncertainty. 
  • Challenges the status quo and inspires others to embrace different ways of doing business.
  • Effectively communicates change, providing relevant and timely information.
  • Fosters experimentation, curiosity, creativity and innovation.
  • Operates effectively with limited information, taking calculated risks and making sound decisions.
  • Accepts and learns from mistakes.
  • Perseveres in the face of resistance.
  • Finds creative ways to overcome obstacles and barriers to change.

Drives Business Results

  • Achieves results that impact the P&L in obvious and meaningful ways.
  • Translates strategies into actionable plans and expectations. 
  • Holds self and others accountable to agreed scorecard measures and goals.
  • Proactively addresses performance issues.
  • Makes timely decisions to avoid delays in moving forward.
  • Discerns focus to achieve strategic priorities amidst simultaneous priorities and competing demands.
  • Does not back down from tough decisions or challenging conversations. 
  • Creates an appropriate sense of urgency in pursuing organizational goals.


Integrity and Trust - Uncompromising integrity and honesty, does not ethically cut corners, unassailable business values. Will put the organization above self-interest. Treats people fairly and with dignity. Is willing to admit mistakes. Works hard to earn and maintain a high level of trust with the CEO, executive team, employees and the Board. 

Professional Excellence – Demonstrates perseverance, self-confidence, initiative. Ability to work independently and contribute in a value-added way to objectives. Manages multiple priorities at once. Organized, disciplined, willing and able to work with a wide range of stakeholders.

Enabling Leadership - Seen as an “enabler.” Stakeholders invite you in. Possess the ability to energize people around the vision and keep the bigger picture in mind. Take a strategic, risk-based and progressive approach that provides value-added audit services across the organization. Works collaboratively with team members in order to achieve a common goal. Maintains and strengthens relationships with others, both inside and outside the organization. Both strategic and visionary, tactical and hands-on. A leader who develops, empowers and inspires people and grows their capacity as professionals. 

Collaboration - Desire and proven ability to make a significant impact through collaboration. Embraces collaboration as an operating style, encourages participation, fosters open dialogue. Utilizes a high degree of collaboration to make sound decisions, develop thinking beyond current boundaries and make innovative ideas practical. 

Personal Accountability - Leads with humility and authenticity. Advocate of open, empathetic and respectful communication with both members and employees. Balanced, with a strong sense of ownership. Uses sound personal judgement to solve problems and make decisions.


A competitive compensation package will be provided including an attractive base salary and excellent benefits. Relocation will be provided if required by the successful candidate. Further details will be discussed in a personal interview.


Allan Nelson or Shalini Bhatty
Leaders International Executive Search
(403) 263-0600

To Apply:  Please email a cover letter & resume (PDF or Word Document only) to, and indicate the job title in the subject line of the email.