An audit is a method of performing a thorough review of a company or organization’s financial records, and making sure that all of the numbers balance. Auditors review all of the accounting and business records, and it is their responsibility to ascertain that all of the information is accurate.
These reviews are necessary to reassure existing investors of the solvency of the business, but they are also needed to attract new investors to the company. If a business needs to qualify for any type of business loan, audited records are also necessary to have on hand.
Auditing careers are usually applied for by accounting professionals who have had advanced studies and testing. This often leads to national certification as certified public accountants, or CPAs. An entry-level auditor position requires that an individual have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in accounting or a related business field.
Sometimes a person can apply as for an auditing position with a bachelor’s degree in a non-related field, if they have the necessary courses and knowledge of accounting and business procedures. Many entry-level auditors today will even have a master’s degree. Job opportunities are expanded for auditors who have certification as CPAs, or who go on to receive an advanced accounting degree.
Because of the meticulous and confidential nature of this type of work, auditors should be able to exercise great attention to detail, should have excellent basic mathematical knowledge, and should understand accounting and business procedures. They should also possess the character traits of honesty and integrity. This is very important, because auditors are trusted with highly sensitive information about all of a company’s finances.
People who apply for auditing positions in any field will need to have a detailed understanding of the many financial procedures for businesses today and knowledge of accounting and spreadsheet software.
There are four general areas, or fields, that are considered prime sources for available auditing jobs. These four groups are public, management, government accounting, and internal auditing. Public accountants are usually termed as the field’s general practitioners.
They cover many basics of accounting practice and have tax expertise. These people work not only in private industry, but also in government agencies and non-profit organizations. A large number of CPAs are self employed and they offer their services as independent practitioners to their clients. Any company, non-profit organizations or other groups, can hire these people to conduct annual financial audits.
Many public accountants have a particular focus in their work, such as preparing individual or corporate tax returns. There are others who may focus on compensation benefits, health care, or on designing financial control systems and safeguards. Some public accountants will even use their experience to specialize as external auditors. These are auditors who examine the financial statements of businesses for accuracy and compliance with applicable financial reporting guidelines. There must be no other work-related connection with the company that they are auditing.
A similar field to external auditing is forensic accounting. There are premium auditor positions available in this career field. Forensic accountants are financial investigators who try to discover if and how fraud occurred in an organization. They often work with law enforcement officials in cases involving suspicions of crimes like embezzlement or money laundering. Forensic accountants are also able to serve as expert witnesses in trials.
Auditor supervisor positions are highly recruited and are extremely competitive as well. If you have several years of experience with some management responsibilities, you may want to apply for one of these high-paying jobs. As a supervisor, you would oversee the work of other auditors, and you would be responsible for seeing that the work was done correctly and on time.
Management accountants record and analyze the financial transactions of the companies that employ them. Their responsibilities include budgeting, performance evaluation, and managing assets and costs. Management accountants are generally hired as executive-level employees in a company and frequently receive salaries of more than $100,000 a year. Management accountants also prepare financial statements for government regulators, investors, and creditors.
Government auditors work in the public sector where they can manage and monitor government records. Public auditors are found working in all levels of government. Their salaries vary according to the job and the type of agency for which they work. Government auditors will generally earn salaries between $40,000 and $120,000 a year.
The fourth and final major specialization in the auditing industry is that of the internal auditors. These individuals review their employer’s files and records to make sure that there is no mismanagement and no problems.
The basic purpose of internal auditing is to ensure accuracy and compliance with internal regulations and to maintain efficient operations. Often you will find that internal auditors work closely with information technology professionals to ensure that there are systems in place that are capable of detecting fraud if it should be attempted. Many of the top jobs in the accounting field are found on AuditorCrossing, which is an online job site that can connect applicants with the best positions that are available at companies throughout the nation. Interested individuals are able to browse through the postings at their leisure and can even apply to jobs online.
Information technology (IT) auditing is a much newer addition to the accounting and auditing career field. IT companies use auditors to help them develop quality plans to integrate into computerized information and financial systems. These people are also hired to assess how secure and efficient the levels of computer controls are.
Technological advances have resulted in growth in the scope of many accounting and auditing jobs. These changes have resulted in less time spent on bookkeeping and records management, and more time on financial analysis using computer-based tools. For this reason, computer knowledge is becoming even more important for persons who are interested in the accounting or auditing field. To help you successfully qualify for one of these jobs, you should take extra courses that will help familiarize you with many of the programs and operations that are being used today.
The formation of new businesses, the expansion of others, and stricter state and federal regulations governing accounting procedures have resulted in a rise in accounting and auditing jobs. Many auditors offer other services, such as budget analysis, document verification, technology consulting, and even legal services related to their area of expertise. The majority of jobs in the accounting and auditing fields provide high salaries and excellent benefit packages. Today, salaries of $80,000 to $110,000 are very commonly seen.