I have just been recruited as an assistant internal auditor without much experience in auditing. Currently, my boss, who is the head internal auditor, is on leave and I am required by the organization to perform some of the responsibilities that have to be done by my department urgently even if my boss is away. I am scared because I wouldn't want to make any mistakes. I often call my boss for guidance which I feel is inappropriate. My worry is that I don't want my boss to think I cannot do my job. What can I do?

  • 1
    If you have a question, and your boss isn't available, it's entirely legitimate to ask other people in your department and/or your boss's boss.
    – keshlam
    Jan 20 at 7:14

2 Answers 2


You should talk to your boss before they go on leave and ask them what you should do in this kind of case.

If you don't have a plan for this situation, talk to the rest of your team for guidance. If you can't do that for any reason, escalate to your boss's boss.

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    Your bosses boss might also know who else has knowledge of the needed subject, form another department for example. And if they don't they can call your boss themselves. If they tell you to use your own judgement then that's a vote of confidence for when your boss returns.
    – Borgh
    Jan 19 at 8:55
  • Whatever you do, do NOT become the primary person responsible for this audit no matter what they say or threaten you with. This is fraud-and-jail level of mistake, so you're right to worry about making them.
    – Nelson
    Jan 23 at 1:10

Your manager might well be resigned to having his leave interrupted by a new hire.

If you've just been hired, and especially if you don't have much specific experience of your role (or if the complications are naturally business-specific), then reasonable managers would accept the need for considerable supervision and frequent consultation.

It's not very reasonable to hire someone then immediately go on leave, but I assume perhaps the leave was planned before your arrival.

People in financial roles including audit are also usually expected to be precise and cautious by nature, not to blunderbuss through uncertainties as might be tolerated from say sales reps, so I don't think a competent manager would think poorly of you even if most of your questions were double-checking.

As long as your manager seems accepting of your contact, I would just continue to contact when necessary.

Just try and minimise the number of interruptions. If there are internal staff available to help, then refer to them first, and if you are able to roll up multiple questions into one call to your manager then do so.

  • 4
    "It's not very reasonable to hire someone then immediately go on leave" Yes, it is. What may not be reasonable is hiring someone and immediately going on leave without giving them clear instructions as to what to do in the hiring manager's absence. Jan 19 at 11:18
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    This is very culture specific. Many places are implementing right-to-free-time laws which would make calling someone outside work hours literally illegal.
    – Borgh
    Jan 19 at 12:49
  • @PhilipKendall, what I mean by "immediately" is within whatever time it takes to settle a new hire and enable them to proceed confidently.
    – Steve
    Jan 19 at 12:55
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    @Borgh, I'm assuming the calls are at least legal, or that the manager would feel capable of handling unwelcome and illegal calls.
    – Steve
    Jan 19 at 12:58
  • @Steve no, literally illegal to even attempt to contact people. Even rejecting calls is a breach of people's leave. Of course there is some leeway and a manager might be expected more off than a line employee but that is something to decide for another manager or C-suite person.
    – Borgh
    Jan 19 at 13:07

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