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Meet the Auditor: Phil Swaffield


Phil is an Assurance and Advisory Manager who has been with National Audits Group for the past eight years and has over 20 years of experience working within Local Government. In this case study, we will learn more about Phil, his background, experience and specific areas of expertise. 

We will look at Phil’s biggest career influences, which steered him into a career in auditing, and some of the distinct challenges of working in Local Government. We will also learn about Phil’s professional experience working with National Audits Group and what advice he would give to anyone seeking a career as an auditor.


Phil has over 20 years of experience working within Local Government, including General Purpose and Water County Councils. Having started his career as an apprentice diesel mechanic, Phil quickly developed a love of problem-solving. He has worked across many areas of Council, including Internal Audit, Finance and Fleet Management.

With vast client experience across various industries (including small private organisations, not-for-profit entities and ASX-listed companies), and as a Professional Member Institute of Internal Auditors and Associate Member Certified Fraud Examiners, Phil provides high-quality assistance to clients. He has a passion for data analytics and has honed his skills in using Computer Assisted Audit Techniques (CAATs).

Auditing Experience & Expertise

When Phil first began his apprenticeship, his manager exposed him to the opportunities he could gain through study. He offered mentorship and guidance, explaining that education would enable alternative career options. 

Phil began studying different management courses and completed a Graduate Certificate in Public Sector Management and a Graduate Diploma in Business. After many years of part-time study, while working and gaining practical experience in different Council departments, he graduated with a Master of Business in Public Sector Management/Corporate Governance. 

Phil also holds a Graduate Certificate Internal Audit and a Certificate IV Project Management, demonstrating his commitment to professional growth.

Challenges in the Local Government Sector

The complexity of the legislative framework in Local Government brings a unique set of challenges. With so many activities and functions within the sector, it is important for auditors to continue to develop their skills and knowledge to be effective in their role. And with evolving legislative changes, this can be difficult to navigate.

As an independent external service provider, Phil takes the time to learn about the intricacies of each internal audit to offer recommendations that benefit his clients. Phil says that while the risk is lower as an external consultant, managing risks by rotating between different clients and engagements is necessary.

Experience with National Audits Group

Throughout his professional journey, in addition to providing internal and external audit services, Phil has assisted numerous clients in establishing risk management frameworks, developing fraud and corruption control plans, implementing governance systems, and creating policies that ultimately help communities. 

Phil has had the opportunity to travel extensively across Australia, including Perth, Adelaide, Central West NSW, Queensland, Victoria and Canberra.

Advice For a Career in Auditing in Local Government

Phil encourages anyone passionate about variety and ongoing professional development to consider a career in internal auditing, particularly in the Local Government sector. He believes auditing offers a unique opportunity to continue growing as a professional while making a positive impact.

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