Auditing is a specialization of accounting that is perfect for those that are detail-oriented and good at solving puzzles. Auditors need to ensure that the books of a business are compliant with generally accepted accounting practices.
What Is an Auditor?An auditor is an accountant that specializes in auditing. Many people believe that auditing involves the IRS. However, the IRS only employs a very small amount of the auditors throughout the nation. Most auditors specialize in auditing the books for corporations and non-profit organizations.
These auditors ensure that the books are being kept accurately for the shareholders in a company or for the government to ensure that grants are being used as they should be.
Auditors need to ensure that the internal controls of a company are up to par. There are many standards and regulations regarding different industries and an auditor needs to be able to identify flaws in the books regarding all of these.
Auditors need to be extremely conscientious about their work and need to keep comprehensive notes and checklists in regards to problem items. They will also need to create final reports regarding any issues found and how they need to be managed.
What Does an Auditor Do?
An auditor will usually work under a senior auditor or senior accountant. They will take the books and documents from a company and test these items for accuracy. Not only do the items need to be accurate, but they also need to tie in with other items to ensure that there are specific controls in place.
Auditors will often work very closely with a company and sometimes they will even work on-site at the company so they have access to all necessary documents. Due to this, auditors also need to be able to work well with people.
Auditors are required to maintain their knowledge of auditing procedures and accounting standards. Many will go to seminars and advanced training courses throughout their work.
How Do You Become an Auditor?
Auditors are simply accountants that have chosen to specialize in a certain field. Most accountants will need to work with a certified public accounting firm to become an auditor. Smaller firms often do not handle audits. Auditors can also work for the government, but this is usually a different type of audit that is usually handled on a personal basis.
An auditor begins on their career path by getting their Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting, as noted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. They usually then need to get hired by a certified public accounting firm and display an interest and talent in the auditing field.
How Do You Advance as an Auditor?
Most auditors will usually need to become a certified public accountant to properly advance within their field. However, auditors that are interested in remaining auditors will still be able to advance significantly by becoming senior auditors within their team if their company promotes based purely on experience.
Becoming a certified public accountant isn’t strictly required as an auditor, but all documents do need to be reviewed by a CPA.
This means that auditors that do not acquire their CPA will always need to have their documents reviewed by another person, and this can prevent them from moving forward. Auditors that are interested in procuring their certification can go through the same certification path that general accountants do. According to the American Institute of CPAs, this includes an exam, experience and special education.