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How to Become an Auditor

Do you have a head for numbers and an eye for details? Do you enjoy finding and solving problems creatively? If so, joining an organization as an auditor might be an excellent fit for your talents.

Auditors play a vital part in the inspection of an organization’s accounting, financial, and operational data to determine if it follows accounting principles. Auditors also identify and, at times, solve issues that may exist. The heart of the auditor’s role is to use accepted accounting and statistical procedures in reviewing reports and financial statements, cash on hand, checks, notes receivable and payable, and more, to evaluate a company’s transactions and numbers.

Auditors need to wear many hats when reviewing company financials, and candidates who excel must have excellent attention to detail and multitasking skills.

Sample job description

[Your Company Name] is looking for a professional, level-headed auditor to join our team! The auditor will be in charge of meeting with our employees and customers, collecting data, and identifying weaknesses, errors, and problems in the data. The auditor must have a mode of transportation. The duties of the auditor will include analyzing financial documents, meeting with employees and clients, reporting to supervisors, and ensuring efficiency and accuracy in the reporting of data. The auditor must have good communication and problem-solving skills. If this describes you, please apply for this position. We would love to have you on our team!

Typical duties and responsibilities

  • Inspect account books and accounting systems for efficiency, effectiveness, and use of accepted accounting procedures to record transactions
  • Prepare, analyze, and verify annual reports, financial statements, and other records, using accepted accounting and statistical methods to assess financial condition and facilitate financial planning
  • Inspect cash on hand, notes receivable and payable, negotiable securities, and canceled checks to confirm records are accurate
  • Review taxpayer accounts and conduct audits on-site, by correspondence or summoning of the taxpayer to the office
  • Examine inventory to verify journal and ledger entries
  • Examine and evaluate financial and information systems, recommending controls to ensure system reliability and data integrity

Education and experience

  • This position requires a bachelor’s degree in accounting, finance, or related field

Required skills and qualifications

  • Several years of experience in claims auditing
  • Advanced computer skills using Microsoft Office, accounting software, and databases
  • Ability to manipulate large amounts of data and compile detailed reports
  • Great attention to detail and excellent analytical skills
  • Sound independent judgment
  • Proven knowledge of auditing standards and procedures, laws, rules, and regulations

Preferred qualifications

  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office, Excel, and Google Apps
  • Excellent oral and written communications skills
  • Ability to maintain a high level of confidentiality
  • Ability to multitask, prioritize, and manage large volumes of requests
  • 2+ years auditing company finances

Typical work environment

Auditors will be responsible for auditing data, employees, and clients, in order to achieve financial accuracy in the reporting and overview of data and accounting. The auditor must oftentimes provide documents for the required employees, including balance sheets and audit statements. Auditors are also responsible for keeping track of a company’s spending and provide a report on this in order to improve the overall efficiency of the company. An auditor will likely report to the finance director or CFO in order to work on improving the efficiency of specific aspects of the company. This position will occur during regular work hours and have benefits. Having a mode of transportation is usually required.

Typical hours

The typical work hours for an auditor will be from 9 AM to 5 PM, Monday through Friday, in an office setting. However, longer or different hours may be necessary. For example, overtime hours may be required at certain times of the year, like the end of a company’s budget year or during tax season.

Available certifications

Auditors may benefit from having one or multiple certifications. These certifications are relevant to the position and may help you stand apart from other candidates:

  • Certified Quality Auditor (CQA) – The Certified Quality Auditor certification indicates a professional who understands both the basics and advanced aspects of auditing, financial analysis, and other requirements for the position of an auditor. This certification program is verified and endorsed by the NCCA, which means it is widely recognized and beneficial for auditors.
  • Certified Internal Auditor (CIA) – The Certified Internal Auditor certification remains the only globally recognized certification for an internal auditor. As a result, having this certification can be immensely beneficial for an auditor who wants to either work in the internal field or prove their competency in multiple fields.

Career path

The career path for an auditor starts with obtaining a bachelor’s degree in accounting, finance, or related field. Also, most auditors working for public accounting firms will need to earn the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) designation by passing the Uniform CPA Exam set by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). Internal auditors may not require this designation, but it is generally encouraged.

US, Bureau of Labor Statistics’ job outlook

SOC Code: 13-2011

2020 Employment1,392,200
Projected Employment in 20301,488,200
Projected 2020-2030 Percentage Shift 7% increase
Projected 2020-2030 Numeric Shift96,000 increase

Demand for auditors and accountants should increase as global business grows. Companies will continue to grow and merge, resulting in a need for qualified auditors to review increasingly complicated financial records.

Also, according to Surgent Professional Education, the use of automation and AI is growing in the auditing sector. Rather than this technology replacing humans, AI will excel at performing lower-risk and lower-skill functions, allowing humans to focus on higher skill-level areas of the auditing process.