How to Become an Auditor

There are millions of businesses around the U.S. that must run efficiently and effectively. Audit is an important part of accounting that evaluates a person, organization, process, system, product, or project to determine the validity and reliability of information. Auditors are trained professionals that carry out these duties.

What does an auditor do?

Auditors help ensure that organizations are running the way they are supposed to, the taxes are properly paid, and the public records are accurate. They analyze and discuss financial information for a variety of entities such as major corporations, business, small companies, the government, and individual clients. There are two types of auditors, internal and external. Internal auditors are company employees that are hired to evaluate and assess the internal control system of the organization. They directly present their reports to upper management or the board of directors. Internal auditors can also have specialty titles such as compliance, environmental, and information technology auditors. External auditors are independent employees assigned to an organization by auditing firms to evaluate and assess financial statements of clients or perform other evaluations. Accounting firms employ many external auditors.

What kind of training does an auditor need?

Auditors typically need at least a bachelor degree in accounting, business, or other related field. Many entry-level positions require a bachelor degree or a combination of education and work experience. Some employers prefer auditors to have a master degree in accounting or business administration with accounting concentration.

Many auditors choose to gain specialized certification to advance in their careers, such as obtaining a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) certification. Almost all States require CPAs to complete continuing education courses to renew their licenses. Other auditors stay abreast on their skills by attending seminars and conferences.

What are the prospects for a career in auditing?

Employment in the field of auditing is projected to grow faster than average for all professions, increasing 18% between 2006 and 2016 (1). Growth will be driven by the increase in the amount of businesses, corporate governance regulations, changing financial laws, and increased responsibility for protecting a company’s stakeholders.

Job prospects are expected to be favorable with the best prospects for auditors who have advanced education and experience. Auditors who earn a CPA certification will also have excellent prospects.

How much do auditors make?

As of July 2009, auditors with 1 to 4 years of experience earned annual salaries around $46,176. Those with 5 to 9 years of experience earned annual salaries around $59,250 (2).

A career as an auditor is an excellent choice for individuals who have an aptitude for mathematics and can quickly analyze, interpret, and compare figures and facts. Auditors must be excellent clear communicators to report the results of their work to managers and clients in verbal and written manner. Auditors must be also good at working with people, computers, and business systems. High standards of integrity are also essential.

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