Auditor Job Description
Auditors analyze financial documents and verify the accuracy of company financial records and tax statements. This job typically requires frequent travel from client to client, so auditors must have a reliable form of transportation. The hours for this profession can be demanding, as auditors frequently work over 40 hours a week. They use excellent interpersonal and communication skills to build rapport with clients, and they have a strong ability to analyze information and communicate results. People who find most satisfaction in this field enjoy working proactively and solving problems.
Auditor Duties and Responsibilities
Although the responsibilities of auditors vary based on employer and industry, the following duties are common to the profession:
Examine Payroll and Tax Records
Auditors document payroll and tax records and use necessary information to conduct audits and verify information accuracy. They look at a company’s finances, accounts, books, and documents.
In order to minimize losses and improve recoveries, auditors look closely at company processes and strive to improve efficiency. They conduct risk assessments to evaluate internal control processes and test the efficacy of such processes.
Prepare Financial Documents
Auditors document financial information such as audit tests. Using this information, they produce documents to support audit results.
Maintain Schedule with Clients
Auditors meet with a number of clients each week. Scheduling meetings and planning schedules, auditors are timely and professional when attending to their customers.
Analyze and Summarize Information
Auditors communicate with their clients as they conduct audit tests. After analyzing the results, they give clear summaries of their findings.
Auditor Skills and Qualifications
Since they handle sensitive financial information, auditors have a strong sense of integrity. This role typically requires a four-year bachelor’s degree in accounting, business, finance, or a related field of study. Most employers desire one to five years of auditing experience in addition to the following qualifications:
- Knowledge of financial operations – auditors need strong familiarity with financial operations and regulations to recognize violations and non-compliance
- Analytical thinking skills – auditors examine and analyze many different financial documents and statements. They need strong analytical skills in order to assess the accuracy of these documents, interpret information, and communicate results
- Computer proficiency – auditors use computer software and technology to enhance their service to clients. They are comfortable using a variety of computer programs
- Communication skills – auditors communicate effectively with their clients and are comfortable discussing financial information. This role requires auditors to clearly summarize their findings so clients understand their audit reports
- Auditing experience – auditors should have an understanding of general auditing principles and practices and should be comfortable analyzing the results of an audit report
Tools of the Trade
Auditors regularly use the following tools:
- Microsoft Office (Word, PowerPoint, and Excel)
- Data analytics software
Auditor Education and Training
Most employers require auditors to have a bachelor’s degree in accounting, finance, business, or a related field of study. In addition, financial auditors can enhance their careers with a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Certified Internal Auditor (CIA), Certified Government Auditing Professional (CGAP), or Certified Financial Services Auditor (CFSA) license. Training for auditors is typically provided for those in entry-level or internship roles with limited prior experience.
Auditor Salary and Outlook
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median pay for auditors is $68,000 per year. Those in the lowest 10th percentile earn less than $42,000, while the highest paid make more than $120,000. Auditors who work full time may receive benefits such as paid vacations, retirement options, and even tuition reimbursement.
According to the BLS, auditor jobs are expected to grow 10 percent in the next decade, which is faster than the average for all occupations. As demand for this profession grows, auditors with licenses (such as a CPA designation) will be more competitive in the field.
If you’re interested in learning more about auditing, here are some helpful resources for further reading:
Auditing and Assurances Services – written by William F. Messier, Jr., this book explains many fundamental concepts of the auditing process and elaborates how these concepts can be applied in auditing services
Thinking Like an Auditor – from solving problems in internal auditing to using data analytics, this blog covers subjects that are relevant to auditors and aims to help auditors tackle issues or hurdles they might encounter in their profession
Contemporary Auditing – author Michael C. Knapp uses real-world cases to show the environment that auditors work in. He also discusses the ethical issues involved with auditing
Auditing Cases – this comprehensive book uses real-world cases to walk students through the auditing process
Audit Analytics – this website illustrates how auditing companies are growing and changing, making it a great place to get a feel for the auditing and accounting industries
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