Staff Auditor Job Description
Staff auditors analyze the operational and financial processes of a company to ensure compliance with industry and federal regulations. There are two different types of staff auditors. Internal auditors are employed directly by a company and conduct internal audits throughout the year on the company’s financial and operational policies. External auditors are employed by an auditing firm and provide an objective opinion on the company’s financial and tax compliance. While all staff auditors work in the accounting industry, they can specialize in a variety of niches. Government and healthcare are two of the most popular specializations. Others take a general approach and work for firms that have clients in many niches. Internal auditors work strictly in the office, while external auditors spend a fair amount of time traveling to clients. Depending on the size of the firm, this can involve extensive business travel. Staff auditors often work more than 40 hours during their busy season.
An entry-level position, junior staff auditors work under the guidance of senior staff auditors until they have enough experience to be promoted. The managing auditor oversees the staff auditors. According to the National Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for accountants and auditors, which includes staff auditors, is set to rise 10 percent through 2026.
Staff Auditor Duties and Responsibilities
Staff auditors have many duties and responsibilities in their work to help their employer or clients succeed. We researched staff auditor job descriptions to come up with the following list of duties and responsibilities common to staff auditors:
Interview Clients to Learn Financial and Operational Information
Staff auditors conduct an informational interview with their client to find out about their financial and operational history.
Evaluate Internal Controls
Staff auditors analyze how a company operates and make recommendations based on their findings. This includes hiring policies, salary structure, job descriptions, disciplinary policies, and any other area that affects the operation of the business.
Analyze Financial Records for Variances
Staff auditors are the last line of defense in catching errors on financial and tax documents. They meticulously analyze financial and tax records to make sure they are accurate.
Observe Physical Inventory Process
Publicly traded companies with physical inventory are required to hire an external auditor to oversee their inventory process. Staff auditors visit their client’s retail locations and work with the employees to verify their item counts.
Prepare Audit Recommendations to Present to Management
Once the auditing processes are complete, staff auditors analyze the results and present their recommendations to either the management at their company or the management team of their client. Staff auditors are expected to give an ethical, objective recommendation based solely on the data.
Complete and Keep Track of All Audit Paperwork
At the end of each audit session, staff auditors complete a detailed report for both the client and their company’s record. These reports are sent to the managing auditor for approval.
Staff Auditor Skills
Staff auditors need a bachelor’s degree in accounting to establish their expertise in GAAP, the generally accepted accounting principles. They conduct every audit according to these principles. Staff auditors also have to be wizards with spreadsheets, as the majority of the documents they work with are spreadsheets packed with numbers. An analytical mind and a strong attention to detail are essential as a lack of focus can directly affect their employer or client’s bottom line. They also have to be good communicators and listeners to build rapport with clients and obtain the information necessary for the audit. In addition to these traits and areas of knowledge, the following skills are necessary to get a job as a staff auditor:
- Conducting informational interviews to get the information necessary for audit
- Using knowledge of tax code and SEC regulations to ensure complete compliance
- Analyzing financial and tax records for accuracy
- Making objective recommendations to management based on CAAP
- Crafting audit reports
Staff Auditor Tools of the Trade
- Microsoft Office Suite – used to analyze financial and tax records, as well as to craft audit reports
Staff Auditor Education and Training
Staff auditors have to have a bachelor’s degree in accounting to get hired. Their education includes coursework in financial accounting, public accounting, economics, business, and tax law. While staff auditors don’t need to have their CPA to gain employment, many staff auditors are studying for the CPA exam.
Staff Auditor Salary
According to Glassdoor, the national median salary for staff auditors is $61,089. Those at the top of the scale make $81,000, while those at the bottom of the scale make $45,000.
Staff Auditor Resources
The following resource list was compiled for both aspiring staff auditors and those who plan to use this position as a stepping stone for a career as an accountant:
American Institute of Certified Public Accountants – Founded in 1887, this organization has been a cornerstone in the world of accounting for well over a century. It now has 410,000 members around the globe, many of whom are auditors. The organization is split into sub-organizations based on an area of accounting, including a sub-organization for internal auditors. This organization is also the administering body of the CPA exam.
The Institute of Internal Auditors – This is the best and most respected organization for internal staff auditors. It provides dozens of in-person seminars and workshops around the country each year. Its website is updated with industry news and also contains on-demand webinars for members.
Essential Knowledge for a First Year Audit Staff Intern at a Big 4 Accounting Firm – This book is based on the author’s experience interning for one of the biggest accounting firms in the world. It is a great read for aspiring staff auditors looking to complete their first internship.
ISO Internal Audit: A Plain English Guide for Internal Auditors in Small Businesses – This book focuses specifically on internal auditors who work for a small business; it addresses the unique challenges and required strategies for this position.
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