Audit Assistant Job Description
Audit assistants are entry-level auditing professionals who perform basic auditing tasks under the guidance of senior auditor. This position is often held by recent graduates or professionals new to the field of auditing. They monitor and analyze the financial reports of a company. Their responsibilities include preparing financial reports, ensuring compliance with tax regulations, and identifying financial strengths and weaknesses. Large Fortune 500 companies typically have in-house auditors within an accounting department. Large healthcare facilities also may employ audit assistants. A lot of audit assistants are employed by public accounting firms that specialize in auditing. Audit assistants work a standard Monday-to-Friday, 40-hour work week most of the year, but they sometimes have to work as much as 70 hours a week during busy seasons.
Many firms have a mentorship program designed to groom audit assistants for promotion to a senior auditor role. According to the National Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for accountants and auditors, which includes audit assistants, is set to rise 10 percent through 2026.
Audit Assistant Duties and Responsibilities
Audit assistants perform all types of auditing tasks under the supervision of a senior auditor. From our analysis of job postings, here are some of the core responsibilities to expect in this position:
Test Internal Controls
Audit assistants look at their employer or client’s operational policies and procedures to determine their effectiveness. Senior auditors delegate tasks to audit assistants based on their experience, such as analyzing personnel responsibility outlines, hiring policies, and pay structure. Audit assistants then report their findings to the senior auditor in charge.
Ensure Continued Compliance with Tax Regulations
Audit assistants use their understanding of the tax code to help their employers or clients comply with their industry’s specific tax regulations.
Prepare and Analyze Financial Records for Accuracy
Audit Assistants have to possess a keen attention to detail, as a lot of their time is spent pouring over spreadsheets to prepare financial records, ensuring they are 100 percent accurate.
Assess Finance and Budget Reports for Strengths and Areas Needing Improvement
Audit assistants call upon their knowledge of financial strategy and their employer’s industry to identify operational strengths and areas needing improvement.
Present Finance and Budget Insights to Senior Auditor for Feedback
After identifying the operational strengths and areas for improvement of their employer or client, audit assistants create recommended plans of action based on their financial acumen. They then present these ideas to the senior auditor in charge.
Audit Assistant Skills
Audit assistants need a strong knowledge of finance and accounting and a passion for staying up to date on the latest tax and regulatory trends. Being an analytical thinker is important as so much of an audit assistant’s job involves careful analysis of complex financial and procedural documents. In addition to these areas of knowledge and personality traits, the following skills are needed to find employment as an audit assistant:
- Analyzing financial reports using spreadsheet software
- Identifying financial strengths and areas that need improvement
- Collaborating with financial analysts to review financial and budget reports
- Taking initiative to learn about new tax and regulatory developments on their own time
Audit Assistant Tools of the Trade
- Spreadsheet software – Excel is the best friend of many audit assistants as it is used for much of the work they do
Audit Assistant Education and Training
Audit assistants have at least a bachelor’s degree in accounting. Although not required of audit assistants, many are working toward taking the Uniform Certified Public Accountancy Examination to become a certified public accountant (CPA). The certification process is broken down into four different tests and is widely considered one of the most difficult professional certification examinations. Once audit assistants pass this certification, they can skyrocket up the career ladder.
Audit Assistant Salary
According to Glassdoor, the national median salary for audit assistants is $61,724. Those at the low end of the scale make $54,000, while those at the high end of the scale make $69,000.
Audit Assistant Resources
The following is a list of resources compiled for audit assistants who plan to build a career in the world of accounting:
The Institute of Internal Auditors – Founded in 1941, this organization has grown to more than 185,000 members with chapters in more than 160 countries. It hosts seminars all over the world, both at the national and local level. It offers several certifications that are highly regarded in the industry. In addition to in-person workshops, its website offers digital webinars that members can download to watch on-demand.
AICPA – The AICPA is the governing body for the Uniform Certified Public Accountancy Examination. While this is not required to become an audit assistant, many eventually end up studying for and taking this exam. This website is the go-to resource for anyone considering this certification.
Chambers on the Profession – This is the professional blog of Richard F. Chambers, CEO of the IIA. It is updated weekly with his reflections on the latest developments in the world of auditing.
From the Mind of Jacka – This is the professional blog of Mike Jacka, a CPA who worked as an internal auditor for more than 30 years. It is updated weekly with his insights.
Auditing for Dummies – Auditing for Dummies is the perfect book for aspiring auditing assistants as it covers fundamental auditing concepts in an easy-to-understand way.
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