What is an IT Auditor?
In today’s technologically savvy corporate world, most companies rely on computer networks to store their data. An IT Auditor is employed in order to assess the programs and operations of an organization, their primary function being analyzing the organization’s Information Technology (IT) system, hardware and software programs. An IT Auditor can either work independently or as a part of a team that manages computer networks. They spend their days in an office, but many leave the confines of the workplace to travel their clients’ locations to help them with their IT needs. They usually enjoy freedom during the day, without direct supervision from upper management.
Although their superiors do not closely monitor them, IT Auditors may work under the supervision of the Manager or Director of IT Audit Managers or Security Analyst. They can find work in any field that needs auditing of their technological networks, especially in government, finance, IT, accounting, consulting and auditing. The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects a 15 percent growth for all Computer and Information Systems occupations, including IT Auditors, which will amount to 402,200 new jobs through 2024.
IT Auditor Duties and Responsibilities
This role is responsible for maintaining the regular operations and minimizing risk when it comes to IT and technology-related hardware, software and equipment within the company. Typical tasks of an IT Auditor include:
IT Analyzing & Maintenance
The employee in this role will work on specific projects that include analyzing information security systems, programs and software for any type of IT system. They can work in designing new systems to meet operational needs, or test existing systems to make sure they are working correctly and are not prone to security breaches. An IT Auditor is responsible for establishing the in house controls and mitigating risks of the establishment’s technology network. The person in this position must find possible issues that affect networks and come up with effective solutions to fix the problems and maintain optimal protection for the security of the files.
Internal Audit Procedures
This person may either lead, or work under the direction of a senior IT professional to create internal audit processes, or internal reviews, of the core control structure and other IT system components, and compile associated audit reports that include relevant information about each audit, such as potential risks that were prevented, problems that were fixed and recommendations for smoother operations.
IT Auditors work with either internal customers (company employees) or external clients in order to help them with their computer network security concerns. This involves responding to phone and email requests in a timely fashion, creating work orders, prioritizing the most important tasks and keeping notes of the errors and solutions. An IT Auditor must provide excellent customer service by communicating with the clients effectively, both verbally and in writing, being courteous, helpful and respectful. Most customers will not have technological knowledge of skills, so the IT Auditor will spend time educating them about associated risks and issues, and recommending the best solutions for their individual needs.
IT Auditor Skills
The person in this role must be technologically advanced, detailed-oriented, organized and innovative in their professional approach.
Core skills: Job postings for IT Auditors vary, but most have the same basic skill requirements in common, which are:
- Risk assessment ability
- Internal audit experience
- Communication skills
- Interpersonal skills
- Security testing experience
- IT security and infrastructure knowledge
- Knowledge of operating system platforms
- Report writing skills
- Analytical skills
Advanced skills: Although not every employer required these advanced skills, they may be helpful in getting the perfect job for you:
- The ability to self educate
- Accounting experience
- Management experience
Tools of the Trade: If you are applying for a position of an IT Auditor, you will need to be familiar with these tools:
- Windows NT
- Microsoft Office
- Sarbanes-Oxley Audit (SOX)
IT Auditor Salary
Computer and Information Systems positions, a category that includes IT Auditors, make a median annual salary of $131,600, according to the BLS. On the low end, the median salary is $80,200, while the top paid IT Auditors earn upwards of $187,200. If moving to a different state for a job is a possibility, The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that California, New York and Virginia offer the highest yearly salaries for IT Auditors – $153,800, $152,300 and $151,900, respectively.
IT Auditor Resources
Working in the field of IT is not simple; successful candidates must stay on top of technological trends, and educate themselves to use the latest software and hardware, as well as be knowledgeable in the current security risks, to provide an advantage to their firm’s networks. To understand this position and field better, we present websites, blogs, books and groups to help you get a wider understanding of a career in IT Auditing.
On the Web
ISAKA – A website that provides advanced knowledge into Information Systems, audit tools and techniques, education and certification insight.
The Institute of Internal Auditors Blog – A blog that discusses the topics of risk, control, and governance and supports interaction in the internal audit community.
Auditor Exchange – A group with over 11,000 members that permits audit and compliance professionals to share ideas, documents, questionnaires and increase efficiency by collaborating with others in the same field of expertise.
IT Audit, Control and Security by Robert R. Moeller – This book offers a great source of information on IT Audit, control, security and integrity procedures.
IT Auditing Using Controls to Protect Information Assets by Chris Davis, Mike Schiller and Kevin Wheeler – A comprehensive guide offering information on leading edge tools and technologies, as well as explanations on how to implement a successful IT Audit program.
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