Career Development

What Does an Auditor Do?

Find out what an auditor does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as an auditor.

Auditors are responsible for ensuring that companies and individuals are following the rules when it comes to handling money. They examine financial records, procedures, and policies to determine whether a company is properly accounting for its transactions and assets.

Auditors may work for private companies or government agencies; either way, they’re tasked with providing an independent assessment of a company’s finances. This helps ensure that companies are being honest about their performance and that investors have accurate information on which to base investment decisions.

Auditor Job Duties

Audit professionals are responsible for a wide range of duties, including:

  • Recommending ways to improve internal controls to prevent fraud and errors in accounting records
  • Reviewing financial statements to make sure they comply with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) and applicable laws
  • Reviewing company records to identify potential risks such as exposure to fraudulent activity or improper accounting methods used by management
  • Interviewing managers and staff to gather information about how their divisions operate and what kinds of risks they face
  • Analyzing financial statements to determine whether they are accurate and whether they provide a clear picture of the company’s financial position
  • Communicating results of audits to management, board members, shareholders, and others who need to know about the findings
  • Preparing or coordinating reports about audit findings, including recommendations for corrective action
  • Conducting audits to ensure that organizations are complying with laws and regulations related to accounting and finance topics
  • Preparing charts, graphs, and other visual presentations of data to make it easier for readers to understand complex information

Auditor Salary & Outlook

The salary of an auditor can vary depending on a number of factors, including their level of education, years of experience, and the size and industry of the company. They may also earn additional compensation in the form of bonuses.

  • Median Annual Salary: $62,500 ($30.05/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $125,000 ($60.1/hour)

The employment of auditors is expected to grow at an average rate over the next decade.

Demand for auditors will stem from the need to ensure that companies are adhering to government regulations and internal policies. In addition, demand will come from the need to evaluate the efficiency and effectiveness of internal controls within organizations.

Related: In-Depth Auditor Salary Guide

Auditor Job Requirements

There are a number of requirements for becoming an auditor, which may include:

Education: Auditors need a bachelor’s degree in accounting, finance or a related field. Some employers prefer to hire auditors who have a master’s degree in accounting or business administration with a concentration in accounting. Relevant coursework includes financial accounting, auditing, taxation, business law and business communication.

Training & Experience: Auditors receive on-the-job training in the form of an internship or entry-level position. During these periods, they learn the specific processes and procedures of the company. They also work closely with more experienced auditors to learn the basics of the job.

Certifications & Licenses: Certifications can provide an advantage for auditors in the job market because they allow them to show their professional competency. There are several different certifications available for auditors that can help make them more competitive candidates for hire or advancement.

Auditor Skills

Auditors need the following skills in order to be successful:

Critical thinking: Critical thinking is the ability to analyze a situation and make decisions based on the information you have. Auditors use critical thinking skills to make decisions about the financial health of a company. They use this information to make suggestions for improvement and to determine if the company is operating within legal and ethical guidelines.

Communication: Communication is another skill that auditors use in their work. They often communicate with their team, clients and other stakeholders throughout the audit process. They also need to communicate complex information in a way that their audience can understand. This can include using technical language that the audience may not be familiar with.

Detail-oriented: An auditor needs to be detail-oriented to ensure they examine all aspects of a company’s records. This skill allows you to notice any inconsistencies in a company’s records and make the appropriate adjustments. Being detail-oriented can also help you find areas of improvement within a company’s records.

Problem-solving: Problem-solving skills can help auditors identify potential issues and find solutions to them. For example, if an auditor notices a discrepancy in a company’s records, they can use their problem-solving skills to investigate the issue and find a solution to it. This can help them ensure the company’s records are accurate and that the company is following regulations.

Organizational: Auditors often have excellent organizational skills, as they need to keep track of large amounts of information. Organizational skills can help you keep track of your work, including your notes, financial records and other documents. Organizational skills can also help you manage your time effectively, allowing you to complete your work on time.

Auditor Work Environment

Auditors typically work regular business hours, Monday through Friday. Some travel may be required, particularly for those who work for public accounting firms that have clients in other cities or states. Some overtime may be necessary during busy periods, such as at the end of the fiscal year or during tax season. Auditors who work for the government or for large corporations may have more opportunity for flexible work schedules. The work environment is usually quiet and orderly, and most auditors work in well-lit offices or cubicles.

Auditor Trends

Here are three trends influencing how auditors work. Auditors will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

The Use of Artificial Intelligence (AI)

As artificial intelligence becomes more prevalent in the business world, auditors will need to learn how to use it in their work.

AI can be used to automate many of the tasks that auditors are responsible for, such as data entry and analysis. This can allow auditors to focus on more important tasks, such as ensuring that the data being collected is accurate and reliable.

The Importance of Cybersecurity

Auditors are increasingly realizing the importance of cybersecurity in their work. As businesses become more reliant on technology, they are also becoming more vulnerable to cyberattacks.

This trend means that auditors will need to have a strong understanding of cybersecurity in order to protect their clients from potential threats. They will also need to be able to identify vulnerabilities in their client’s systems and help them to develop a plan to mitigate those risks.

More Focus on Risk Management

Risk management is an essential part of being an auditor. In order to ensure that companies are following proper procedures, auditors need to be able to identify and assess risk.

As businesses become more complex, auditors will need to be able to keep up with the latest trends and developments in order to stay ahead of the curve. This requires a deep understanding of risk management and how to manage it effectively.

How to Become an Auditor

Auditors have a lot of career options. They can move into management, become an auditor in-charge, or specialize in a particular area of auditing. They can also move into other areas of accounting, such as tax or consulting.

Auditors need to be detail-oriented and have excellent math skills. They also need to be able to think critically and be able to problem solve. Communication skills are important so that they can effectively communicate their findings to clients and other professionals.

Related: How to Write an Auditor Resume

Advancement Prospects

Auditors with a few years of experience may advance to senior auditor, in charge of planning and directing an audit engagement. Some accountants become certified public accountants (CPAs). CPAs must pass a rigorous national exam and meet experience and education requirements that vary by state.

After becoming CPAs, some accountants move into management positions, such as controller or chief financial officer. Others become partners in public accounting firms. Many accountants also teach in colleges and universities. Some find jobs in government or with nonprofit organizations.

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